DES MOINES, Iowa – Police have released the identity of a body found in the Raccoon River Saturday afternoon.
Emergency personnel members were called to an area of the river south of SW 14th Street and W. MLK Parkway about the body just before 4:00 p.m.
When officers arrived they found an obviously deceased male in the river and the Des Moines Fire Department water rescue team recovered the body.
The body has been confirmed to be that of 24-year-old Collin Fleming by the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Fleming had last been seen on April 16th and was reported missing on April 23rd.
There were no obvious signs of trauma to the body. The cause of Fleming’s death is being investigated.
DES MOINES, Iowa — The last two weeks have been frightening for Ingrid Fleming. Her 24-year-old son Collin Fleming is bipolar and has been missing since April 18.
“It’s hard, I don’t wish this pain on anyone. Not knowing, it is awful,” said Ingrid. “When I leave for the day and I’m in my car and I have a flyer on my window, that’s when it hits me. I don’t think he’s coming back because two and a half weeks is too long.”
Investigators believe he was last seen in the area around Drake University near Cottage Grove and Rutland Avenue, but leads have been cold.
“One of our best is on this case. She has run this out to where we reached out to people we knew were the last ones with him. The phone records aren’t any good to us because he doesn’t have one with him so we are kind of at a dead end,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.
Ingrid has raised a $1,000 reward for information leading her to Collin and has gone to posting flyers in nearby neighborhoods. “Hopefully someone will talk because somebody knows something. Everybody knows money talks,” she said.
As time passes, the probability of finding Collin alive lessens. Parizek said, “There’s a possibility this may be something that has taken a sad turn, but what we are doing is we are hopeful right now that he’s just hanging with some friends or that he’s some place struggling a little bit and just needs a push to get some help.”
Restaurants and businesses on University Avenue in the Drake neighborhood are lending their support with flyers in storefront windows hoping to help trigger even the smallest clue to Collin’s disappearance. “We love you and I want you home so much. I miss you and I want you to be safe,” Ingrid said.
Collin’s mother has set up a GoFundMe to raise money for a reward. You can donate here.