The body of a missing Iowa State University student was found on campus this afternoon (April 3). The student's death remains under investigation.
At 3:39 p.m. today, rescue personnel were conducting a search of Lake LaVerne (on the Iowa State University campus) when they discovered the body of a college-age male. The person's body was found, fully submerged, in the southeast corner of the lake.
Law enforcement personnel secured the scene and requested assistance from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Office of the State Medical Examiner. Iowa State University Police is the lead agency; however the investigation is being conducted jointly with the Ames Police and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
Upon recovery, the body was examined and was positively identified as that of Abel Merlos Bolanos, age 19, of 2303 Wallace Hall. ISU directory information indicated Bolanos was a sophomore from Rolling Meadows, Ill., majoring in English.
Case remains under investigation
Consistent with information gathered in the investigation (to date), no obvious signs of foul play were noted. However, the cause of death has not yet been determined and the case remains under investigation.
An autopsy will be conducted by Dr. Dennis Klein, Assistant State Medical Examiner, on Wednesday (April 4) at the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny.
Mr. Bolanos was reported missing on Sunday, April 1, after family and friends had been unable to make contact with him. Since Sunday afternoon, an exhaustive search has been conducted. The search efforts included use of multiple aircraft, canine search teams, door-to-door contacts throughout the Wallace-Wilson complex and the Campustown area, and physical searches of several square miles of terrain.
Numerous agencies, persons assisted
The search involved personnel and resources from a number of agencies including: Ames Police Department, Ames Fire Department, Star 1 Search and Rescue, Civil Air Patrol, Boone County Search and Rescue, Iowa State Patrol, Story County Sheriff's Office, Story County Emergency Management, and Iowa State University Police and Parking personnel as well as other university staff.
Several specialized canine and underwater search teams (from across the state) also assisted in the search. Over 200 community members also volunteered to assist with search efforts.
Iowa State University Police are grateful for the extraordinary collaboration and support provided by all agencies and persons who assisted with the search process.