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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Body found in hayfield linked to missing Lawrence man

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

The Linn County Sheriff's Office was called on Wednesday after a body was found in this hayfield just south of the Miami County line. The identity of the deceased and the cause of death have not yet been determined. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

FONTANA – For the second time in four days, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office has received a call that led to the discovery of a body. On Sunday, deputies were called to Parker and found the body of a man who had apparently died of an overdose (see the separate story).

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, about 6 p.m., Linn County investigators were called after a body was discovered in a hay field near Middle Creek on a minimum maintenance section of Iliff Road just south of the Miami County line.

According to a press release on Thursday by Linn County Sheriff Kevin Friend, a vehicle was found in a wooded area some distance from the body and personal items were scattered about the property. Friend said that the body was “collected and sent for forensic analysis.” As of Thursday, neither the identity of the deceased nor cause of death had been determined.

However, the Ottawa Police Department in a separate release indicated that the vehicle found in Linn County – a white, 2000 Toyota Camry – belonged to Garrett Russell, a 30-year-old Lawrence resident. Russell was reported missing by family members on Aug. 31.

According to the release, Russell was last seen on a surveillance video leaving his home on Aug. 24. The police also said that the Lawrence man may have been in the Osawatomie area between Aug. 24 and Sept. 2. Russell attended Prairie View High School for a while sometime between 2008 and 2010.

In his release on Thursday, Friend said that his personnel returned to the area on Thursday during daylight hours to search for any other items.

“Detectives are being assisted by the Drone Operations Unit to fully search the property as it is a large area,” the release continued. “Linn County Detectives are working with the Ottawa Police Department on the investigation as we believe there may be a connection with a case from their jurisdiction.

“Upon positive identification of the found human remains, further releases will be made.”

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