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Body believed to be that of trucker missing for 5 months found in Iowa farm field, but death remains a mystery

Iowa man still missing a couple weeks after semi holding baby pigs found on highway
Iowa man still missing a couple weeks after semi holding baby pigs found on highway 00:46

A body believed to be that of a missing truck driver has been found in a northwest Iowa field not far from where his abandoned rig was discovered on an isolated highway just before Thanksgiving, but details of his death remain a mystery.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety said someone in his field discovered a body Wednesday, near where 53-year-old David Schultz's semi was found parked in the middle of the road on Nov. 21.

The DPS didn't identify the body as that of Schultz and said in a news release that a forensic autopsy was planned. But Schultz's wife, Sarah, told CBS affiliate KCCI-TV and other media outlets on Thursday that the person found was wearing boots that matched her husband's, and his keys were found in the pants pocket.

Missing Trucker Iowa
This undated family photo shows David Schultz with his two sons.  / AP

The discovery, she said, brought a mixture of relief and sorrow.

"I'm glad we know where he is now," Sarah Schultz said. "There's still a lot of questions. Things don't make sense."

She suspects foul play in her husband's death, KCCI-TV reported.

"I know he would've never left us unless something bad happened," she said. "... I can't think of any reason why he would've walked a mile and a half out to the middle of a field and laid down."

Schultz, of Wall Lake, Iowa, left home late on the night of Nov. 20 to pick up a load of pigs from a hog confinement near Eagle Grove, Iowa. He was expected to deliver the pigs the next morning to a livestock dealer in Sac City, Iowa, a small farming town about 90 miles northwest of Des Moines. When he didn't show up, no one could get him on the phone.

Sarah Schultz reported him missing and the truck was found later that afternoon, less than 10 miles (6.2 km) northeast of his destination. The pigs were still in the trailer. Schultz's wallet and phone were inside his rig. His jacket was on the roadside.

Jake Rowley, the regional team leader of United Cajun Navy, a nonprofit search-and-rescue organization that helped with the search, said local law enforcement agencies searched the area where the body was found immediately after Schultz went missing, including with drones. More than 250 volunteers searched an additional 100,000 acres.

An unanswered question, Rowley said, was whether the the body "was there the entire time," or if it was recently moved to the spot where it was found.

Sarah Schultz described her husband as a devoted family man who stressed to his kids the importance of being respectful and working hard.

"He was such a good father," Sarah Schultz said. "It's not fair."

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