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Family of Schultz seeking 2nd autopsy on suspicions of foul play

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The family of David Schultz still suspects foul play and is seeking a 2nd autopsy after an initial autopsy revealed no signs of trauma. 

Truck driver David Schultz was found in the 1900 block of Union Avenue in Sac County, Iowa on April 24th after going missing in November of 2023. The 53-year-old’s body was “unrecognizable” when it was found. Schultz was identified using his cowboy boots and his dental records. 

The State Medical Examiner conducted a forensic autopsy on the body and released the results on April 25th. The autopsy positively identified Schultz and determined that “preliminary autopsy results show no signs of trauma or serious injury. Further autopsy test results are pending. Authorities do not suspect foul play in the death of Schultz.”

Despite the results, Schultz’s wife Sarah and Jake Rowley, who worked to find Schultz as part of the nonprofit United Cajun Navy search team, say that they aren’t convinced that there was no foul play involved in Schultz’s death. 

“I don’t feel comfortable with the results of the initial autopsy,” Rowley said to The Gazette. “There’s other parts of this that haven’t been completely returned yet. There may be something in that, you know, that hasn’t been brought to our attention yet,” he continued, referencing toxicology and other tests that have not come back yet. 

“Trying to be able to do a thorough autopsy on a body that has a state of decomposition is hard. And so, maybe something was missed, maybe it wasn’t,” Rowley continued. “I’m not an autopsy professional. I’m a search-and-rescue professional. When it comes to those things, I have to count on the professionals to do what they do, and that’s kind of why we’re looking at doing a second autopsy.”

“I think, definitely, in my opinion and in Sarah’s opinion both and our conversations together, foul play was involved.”

Now, Rowley is hoping to help Sarah raise money for a 2nd autopsy in Kansas City, as those services are not available in Iowa. He estimates that the funeral, body transport and autopsy will cost around $10,000.

“Like Sarah said yesterday (at a news conference after the body was found), there’s very little reason that David would have just stopped that truck on the side of the road, just walked away from it and, then, walked a mile and a half out in the middle of a field and laid down. There’s just almost no reason why David would have done that,” Rowley continued.

“If there was no foul play, if nobody else was involved in it, then why did David do that? That’s a big question. I think, as far as bringing closure to Sarah and the boys and his parents and the Schultz family, we probably need to go to all ends to try to figure out what happened.”

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