News

Body found in Cedar River near Palisades where boater went missing

59-year-old Ricky Veenstra was boating near spillway before he disappeared

Emergency personnel search the Cedar River below the dam at Palisades Kepler State Park for a man who witnesses said jumped off his rocking fishing boat after the boat got into the turbulent water below the dam at the park west of Mount Vernon, Iowa, on Sunday, July 7, 2019. The Mount Vernon Fire Department, Iowa DNR, the Lisbon Fire Department and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office were observed at the scene. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Emergency personnel search the Cedar River below the dam at Palisades Kepler State Park for a man who witnesses said jumped off his rocking fishing boat after the boat got into the turbulent water below the dam at the park west of Mount Vernon, Iowa, on Sunday, July 7, 2019. The Mount Vernon Fire Department, Iowa DNR, the Lisbon Fire Department and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office were observed at the scene. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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The body of the boater who went missing in the Cedar River on Sunday near Mount Vernon has been found, officials believe.

On Tuesday, a body was found in the river about 2 miles south of the Palisades Kepler State Park boat ramp, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Positive identification of the body has not been made, but authorities believe it is Ricky Veenstra, 59, of Cedar Rapids.

Veenstra was in a boat just below the spillway when he went into the river and did not resurface, witnesses told officials.

The body was taken to the Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny for an autopsy, according to the news release.

It is not clear whether Veenstra fell or jumped into the water.

Witnesses told officials they saw the man jump from his rocking fishing boat into the turbulent water below the dam Sunday morning. However, information from the sheriff’s office indicates the man fell from the boat.

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The search by the sheriff’s office and the Iowa Department of Natural Resource, which was difficult because of fast-moving water, has ended, officials said.

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