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Thread: Ethan Kazmerzak (22) found in submerged vehicle more than 7 years after he went missing

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    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    Ethan Kazmerzak (22) found in submerged vehicle more than 7 years after he went missing

    https://www.facebook.com/ethan.kazmerzak?ref=br_rs

    https://www.findthemissing.org/en/cases/22526/7/

    http://hamptonchronicle.com/content/remembering-ethan

    Family, community members share memories, hope for resolution in case of missing Hampton man



    Everything seemed normal the day Iowa beat Iowa State?s football team in 2013.

    April Hemmes, an alumna of the latter and die-hard Cyclone fan, expected to hear gloating from her 22-year-old son Ethan Kazmerzak, who had attended Iowa for two years, but the call never came.

    The two years and four months since have been anything but normal.

    Kazmerzak went out with friends to watch the Saturday game at local bars and then to a small gathering at a pond northwest of Hampton on Sept. 14, and has been missing since early the next morning.

    His car has not been found and all activity froze on his credit card, ATM card and cell phone. A call was tracked from his phone around 12:15 a.m., near the intersection of 190th Street and Olive Avenue that Sunday. He had called his mom.

    Multiple aerial, land and underwater searches offered no leads in the following days and weeks. Residents scoured the banks of ponds for tire tracks and a Wisconsin-based search and rescue team scanned nearby bodies of water using SONAR.

    Friends and neighbors pooled together $20,000 to establish a reward for tips six weeks later. It was reestablished in May 2014 and increased to $100,000 in November 2015, but officials have received a slow trickle of tips, none of which have led to a break in the case.

    ?It?s the nothing ? the absolutely no information ? that?s the worst,? Hemmes said.

    Hampton Police Chief Bob Schaefer said the investigating departments have exhausted their options until someone comes forward with new information.

    ?It?s very frustrating,? he said. ?I can?t imagine what it?s like, as a parent, not knowing.?

    The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation?s original thought was that Kazmerzak and his car had gone into a ditch or body of water, Schaefer said.

    ?Most of the time, if something sinister happened, you end up finding the vehicle in a parking lot or burnt out somewhere,? he said.

    For the family?s sake, he said people should continue to keep their ears open and report information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, to the police.

    ?If you think something sinister or criminal happened to him, then yeah, somebody knows something,? he said.

    Franklin County Sheriff Larry Richtsmeier, a long-time friend of the family, leans toward the criminal route due to the fact that the car hasn?t been found. Its VIN number and license plate are registered nationwide as missing and area junkyards have been searched.

    ?Whether they?re still in Franklin County or not, somebody has information,? Richtsmeier said. ?I honestly do feel that someday their conscience is going to get the best of them and they will come forward. But that was my opinion back when it started, and it still hasn?t happened.

    ?Sooner or later, they?re going to have to answer for it. Whether it be to us, or to a higher authority, they?ll have to answer for what they did. Unless they answer to us, the family?s not going to get any closure.?

    Richtsmeier also urged anyone with information to come forward. He compared the mystery to assembling a puzzle, saying it isn?t usually one thing, but many little things that make a case.

    ?When you try to put the puzzle together, the pieces start locking together and you end up with the big picture,? he said. ?We would really love to get the puzzle together, but we don?t have the pieces to work with.?

    Kazmerzak?s disappearance is one of three unsolved cases in Franklin County, officials said.

    http://mydeathspace.com/article/2020...e_went_missing
    Last edited by raisedbywolves; 11-25-2020 at 04:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    Continued

    • That day and night

    The last phone conversation between Hemmes and her son was a regular mother-son moment that Saturday, he needed help grocery shopping.

    “He wanted to know where he could get Durkee dressing,” she said. “The mustard. Isn’t it funny how you remember those things?”

    She didn’t think the Iowa Falls Hy-Vee carried it anymore. The talk sounds trivial now, she said, but added that calls like that shouldn’t be taken for granted. The conversation continued and he said he planned to go to Iowa Falls the next day to help his grandpa between work shifts at the Windsor Theatre in Hampton.

    “He had plans and he was going and doing stuff,” Hemmes said.

    Windsor Manager Jim Davies ran into Kazmerzak that Saturday. He was painting the outside window frames of the theatre when Kazmerzak pulled up. Davies asked to make sure he was planning to work the next day. He was.

    “That’s really the last time I saw him,” Davies said.

    Kazmerzak didn’t often call his mom late at night, but he did that night. She used to tell him to call the home phone to wake her up for any reason because her cell was normally on vibrate and not nearby. The last time his phone was used was that call at about 12:15 a.m., Sunday, a missed call to her cell phone.

    “That’s going to haunt me for the rest of my life,” she said. “Did he leave a message, did it not go through, was he going to say something, wasn’t he? Yeah, I get to live with that.”

    She wondered if it was an accidental call, since records later showed that she was the last person he’d previously called. She was up early that Sunday and called him back with no response. Worry began to set in when she heard that he didn’t show up for work, which Davies said was unusual for him.

    The day was surreal.

    “You sit and you wait, and you hope your phone rings,” she said. “On the TV shows, they find them in an hour or a half an hour. That’s just not how the real world works. Things don’t go as fast.”

    They went to look through his apartment, where his car wasn’t seen and nothing was disturbed. Davies said a bag remained in his place, yet to be unpacked from a recent trip.

    “You’d think if he was leaving for any period of time, that he’d take the bag,” Davies said.

    He and many other community members rallied to alert everyone and search for the missing person.

    It isn’t clear what happened, and Hemmes said she couldn’t say if her son had been OK to drive that night, but that things might have been different if he’d been driven home.

    “I just wish somebody would have driven him home,” she said. “It’s the would have, could have, should have. If [other people] see someone that shouldn’t be driving, just drive them home. Even if they’re going to be mad at you, I don’t care.”

    It was difficult for the family to see the first weeks of intensive searches wind down.

    “We knew what had to happen,” she said. “You hate to see it come to a close. You want somebody on it all the time, but that’s just not a reality.”

    • Learning to cope

    After two weeks of searching, Schaefer said it was a “waiting game.” The family – Hemmes, her husband Tom Kazmerzak and daughter Ruth – never expected it to go on for so long.

    Richtsmeier said they have been tested immensely.

    “Life went on after this happened and [they’ve] had a lot of tough issues to deal with,” he said. “Tom and April, mentally, have got to be the toughest people I know – to go through this and keep their sanity and keep their family together.”

    Hemmes said she is assertive and likes to have control over situations.

    “And then you get put in something like this, and you just totally lose control,” she said. “I didn’t think it would go on this long, ever. I thought we’d either find the car somewhere, find him somewhere or he’d call.”

    With each installment of an award, she said her level of hope was not the same.

    “That’s just very good friends caring about our family,” she said of the group that established the award. “I thought the more the amount, the more information that would come out. That just hasn’t been the case.”

    There have been no moments of peace since the disappearance, Hemmes said. As a farmer, she gets a lot of alone time while tending her fields.

    “I realized this while I was driving the tractor,” she said, “I could very well die never knowing where my son is. And that’s a horrible thing, but it’s true for me. That’s my reality.”

    Humor helps her cope – she said it’s important to find something, “a little spark,” to laugh about.

    “It’s OK, I don’t sit and cry in my tractor all the time,” she said. “I can’t be the person I’m not. I can’t go around moping all the time.”

    Living in uncertainty and seeing its effect on the family have been the hardest parts for Hemmes.

    “You want to bear the brunt of it for everyone and not put them through pain,” she said. “But they’re in just as much pain as I am.

    “When you’re in the middle of it, you don’t really sit and talk about it, because you have to live it. That might not make sense to people who haven’t been through it. Tom and I don’t sit around the dinner table every single night and talk about it, because you just can’t. You just can’t open the wound every single day.

    “It’s a wound. It’s there and it’s never going to go away completely. So why pick at it? We just get by.”

    Kazmerzak loved living in Hampton and always enjoyed the community, Hemmes said. That community embraced his family throughout their tragedy.

    “I don’t know how anybody could go through this and not have the community support like we have,” she said. “You think people might forget about it after a while, but they don’t. The support has been unreal. I thank God for it every day.”

    Someone called her recently to ask if it hurts her too much to see the yellow ribbons that community members hang around town in her son’s honor. She told them no.

    “It gives me hope,” she said. “It makes me feel that other people care just as much.”

    Hearing people tell stories about Ethan lets her relive cherished moments.

    “I have to keep him alive in my heart,” she said. “It’s great that I get to relive those stories and talk about him.”

    Attending weddings of his friends is now very difficult, and the anniversary of his disappearance isn’t as hard as birthdays, holidays and other days that hold memories. The family now travels away for certain holidays.

    “You have the memories and you take them with you wherever you go,” she said. “You appreciate them while they’re there and life goes on. No matter how hard that is, you just keep going.”

    They don’t give up. She knows Ethan wouldn’t want her to.

    “Yes, it changes you as a person. Yes, you’re not the same at all,” Hemmes said. “Whether you let it drag you down or you go on and become a better, or much changed person … you just have to.”

    Day by day, step by step, the family continues on in hope of some resolution.


    • Memories

    The parents encouraged both of their children to “follow their dreams and loves.” For Ethan, that was the arts. He studied English at Iowa and planned to be a professor. On family vacations, he stuffed his suitcase with books.

    Music was another love – he played through high school and was in the U of I marching band. While his family was away on a college visit for Ruth, he got his Grateful Dead tattoo in honor of the rock band.

    “He was 18 and he knew he could do it, so he did it,” Hemmes said, laughing. “I said ‘Why the Grateful Dead?’ he said ‘Well I love their music.’”

    Though he had good college memories, he came home from school in the fall of 2012, his junior year, to “take a break and figure out what to do next,” Hemmes said. He later started working at the Windsor Theatre and moved into apartment No. 1 right above it.

    Kazmerzak was passionate about drama, and characters came alive in his many performances at the Windsor. He played Dr. William Chumley in the “Harvey” play in July and was set to direct the upcoming play that winter.

    Performing, working and living in the building was special to him – it had been in the family for 96 years since his great-great grandfather Charles Peterson began leasing the 4-year-old building in 1917. The family owned it from 1938 to 1974.

    “He had a connection and he loved working there,” Hemmes said. “He was going to start learning how to run the projector and things like that. He was really looking forward to it.”

    Davies acted in plays with Kazmerzak and considered him a friend. He described him as “a great guy – funny, sincere, he cared, very enthusiastic and he really believed in the Windsor.”

    When he approached Davies about working there, Davies thought it was a perfect fit.

    “Because his family had been so involved, I think that really meant a lot to him,” he said. “If he wanted to learn my job and be manager someday, I could see that down the road.”

    He thought Kazmerzak could have taken the theater to the next level and brought it back into the family.

    “You know, maybe it could still happen,” Davies said.

    For now, Davies keeps a missing person poster in the front window of his house to help keep up hope and awareness.

    “I look at that every day,” he said. “I keep that as a reminder – I’m not going to forget.”

    That’s the sentiment throughout Hampton, he said.

    “There’s a lot of support out there, a lot of hope and a lot of prayers,” he said. “You’ve got to stay positive. There’s a reason for everything … you just have to have faith.”

  3. #3
    senior cunt emmieslost's Avatar
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    I didn't know Ethan, but i know his family. This is my hometown, where my mom still lives. She and my sister know Ethan. It's a small community, around 4,500 people.

    This case has haunted me. Its so strange that he, and his vehicle, just vanished. I hope someday the family has answers.

  4. #4
    senior cunt emmieslost's Avatar
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    His last fb post:

    'Do you care that your only daughter has run away?'

    ...'that's a loaded question.'

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    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    Senior Member Bewitchingstorm's Avatar
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    In a quick search of the area where he was last seen and where his last cellphone ping was, it looks rural without bodies of water. Emmie definitely knows the area much better.

  7. #7
    senior cunt emmieslost's Avatar
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    the place he was last seen has a small pond and is near a small, man made lake. both were searched.

    this case really breaks my heart. mostly because i know some of his family pretty well, but it's just so crazy that there has never been a break in the case. if someone knows something i'm surprised it's never leaked. people in hampton cannot keep their mouths shut.

  8. #8
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/cri...1fd8cb2e2.html

    A $100,000 reward continues to be offered for information about a Hampton man who disappeared four years ago.

    The reward is being offered for ?any relevant and useful information that leads to the current location and/or safe return of Ethan Kazmerzak,? Hampton Police Chief Robert Schaefer said in a news release.

    Schaefer said the reward was pooled by a group of anonymous donors. It is limited to $10,000 for anyone who discovers Kazmerzak accidentally.
    There have been no verified sightings of Kazmerzak or his car since.

    Police say Kazmerzak was not under investigation or known to be involved in any crime and didn?t have any plans to leave the area the night he disappeared.

    ?It?s like he just vanished into thin air,? Schaefer told the Mason City Globe Gazette in 2015.

    Anyone with information about Kazmerzak should call the North Iowa Crime Stoppers at (800) 383-008 or the Hampton Police Department at (641) 456-2529.
    http://www.findethan.com/


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    senior cunt emmieslost's Avatar
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    I hope someday Ethan and his family get some closure.

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    Do any of the remaining Grateful Dead still tour? I'm not familiar with them nowadays, but do the still have "Dead Heads"?? If so, could Ethan be amongst them? It seemed as though many of them lived off the grid.

  11. #11
    Administrator Olivia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewitchingstorm View Post
    In a quick search of the area where he was last seen and where his last cellphone ping was, it looks rural without bodies of water. Emmie definitely knows the area much better.
    Someone wrote to the MDS gmail with this info -

    On one of the post on the Missing College man from Hampton it stated that there was no bodies of water where the cellphone pinged that is wrong the are ponds deep enough for a car but the PD covered that area along with the gravel pit area they partied from I am from that area so I know about it. I want to correct that information, he could still be somewhere else and had a accident he was looking for mustard. any 24 hour store around the area or near by. In between the areas plus he could go on back roads to avoid getting stopped by officers is was drinking. People need to still look everywhere

  12. #12
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://globegazette.com/news/local/...59298aad9.html

    The reward for information on a Hampton man missing for two years has been increased to $100,000.

    Ethan Kazmerzak, 22, was last seen around midnight at a party northwest of Hampton on Sept. 15, 2013. His car, a 2006 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, also is missing.

    A $20,000 reward offered last year was increased this week to $100,000 by a pool of anonymous donors, said Hampton Police Chief Robert Schaefer.
    Police say Kazmerzak was not under investigation or known to be involved in any crime and didn't have any plans to leave the area the night he disappeared.

    "It's like he just vanished into thin air," said Hampton Police Chief Robert Schaefer.

    Throughout the past two years, Hampton police have tracked down reports of possible sightings of Kazmerzak and the car. Some reports aren't able to be verified, but those that can be turned out to be false leads, Schaefer said.

  13. #13
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://www.kcci.com/article/dollar1...ssing/34013383

    The Hampton Police Department wants to remind Iowans that it has been nearly seven years since Ethan Kazmerzak went missing, and a reward for his safe return still stands.

    Kazmerzak would now be 29 years old. He went missing sometime in the early morning hours on Sept. 15, 2013.

    Police said at the time Ethan went missing, he had dark blond hair, had a beard, wears glasses, and has a Grateful Dead tattoo on his upper left arm. He was last seen wearing peach/orange colored shorts and a white/teal printed shirt. He was driving a silver 2006 Volkswagen Jetta TDI with Iowa license plate AUZ382. The car and Ethan still are missing.

    There is still a $100,000 reward offered for any relevant and useful information that leads to the current location and/or safe return of Ethan Kazmerzak. Police said the reward has been pooled together by a group of anonymous donors.

    Anyone with information is asked to call North Iowa Crime Stoppers at 1-800-383-0088or the Hampton Police Department at 1-641-456-2529.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Bewitchingstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olivia View Post
    Someone wrote to the MDS gmail with this info -

    On one of the post on the Missing College man from Hampton it stated that there was no bodies of water where the cellphone pinged that is wrong the are ponds deep enough for a car but the PD covered that area along with the gravel pit area they partied from I am from that area so I know about it. I want to correct that information, he could still be somewhere else and had a accident he was looking for mustard. any 24 hour store around the area or near by. In between the areas plus he could go on back roads to avoid getting stopped by officers is was drinking. People need to still look everywhere
    Not sure what I was thinking; there were bodies of water when I did a Google search but wrote 'without'. Urgh.

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    Senior Member Bewitchingstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    So very sad.

    The date on the OP looks to be wrong?

  16. #16
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://globegazette.com/news/missin...9e4011e91.html

    Missing Hampton man Ethan Kazmerzak's vehicle found, sheriff's office confirms

    An employee at the Franklin County Sheriff's office has confirmed the car of Ethan Kazmerzak, who has been missing since 2013, has been found in a body of water.

    The employee could not comment as to whether remains were found inside the vehicle, only that recovery efforts were underway.

    A YouTuber who operates the channel Adventures With Purpose claims to have found the vehicle using sonar and confirmed the license plate during an underwater search on

    According to the sheriff's office, the body of water in which the vehicle was located had previously been searched at least two other times.

    Kazmerzak, who was 22 at the time of his disappearance, was last seen leaving a party near Hampton on Sept. 15, 2013. Phone records indicate he called his mother around 12:15 a.m. on his way home.

    He was never seen or heard from again.

    A press conference is expected to be held later in the day Tuesday.

  17. #17
    Cranjis McBasketball Nic B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    https://globegazette.com/news/missin...9e4011e91.html

    Missing Hampton man Ethan Kazmerzak's vehicle found, sheriff's office confirms
    Yep, he drove into the water. So sad for the outcome, but I'm sure it was expected he wouldn't be found alive. Hopefully they find his remains and can bury (or cremate) him.


    Quote Originally Posted by marakisses View Post
    yes i said i will leave it under you storage he said cuddle with me i said shut up it over??? what am i doing wrong??

  18. #18
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    https://kwwl.com/2020/10/27/car-of-h...und-submerged/

    The Franklin County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that human remains have been found in Ethan Kazmerzak's car that was discovered and removed from a pond on Tuesday.

    The remains will be sent to the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny, Iowa for identification.

    Kazmerzak and his vehicle have been missing since September 15, 2013. The car was found submerged in a pond northwest of Hampton, Iowa, near where Kazmerzak had last been seen seven years ago.

    The 2006 Volkswagen was recovered using divers from the Story County Sheriff's Office Dive Team and with help from the Adventures with Purpose Crew, whose search efforts resulted in the discovery.

  19. #19
    Cranjis McBasketball Nic B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    It's kind of creepy, he was there for so long. And I've hard of other cases where people have been found in water for even longer. I will forever drive by bodies of water and wonder how many skeletons are in it


    Quote Originally Posted by marakisses View Post
    yes i said i will leave it under you storage he said cuddle with me i said shut up it over??? what am i doing wrong??

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    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nic B View Post
    It's kind of creepy, he was there for so long. And I've hard of other cases where people have been found in water for even longer. I will forever drive by bodies of water and wonder how many skeletons are in it
    There were a couple of teens who disappeared in the 70's where I went to college who were found a couple years ago when drought caused the water level of the lake they were in to drop. There were several cars found in a clump. One was a stolen vehicle that was apparently dumped there, another was from a known accident where the driver managed to get out and just didn't bother to try to get his car back and then this one with the driver and passenger still in the car. Creeps me out to think how many times I drove by that spot.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    lol at Nestle being some vicious smiter, she's the nicest person on this site besides probably puzzld. Or at least the last person to resort to smiting.
    Quote Originally Posted by nestlequikie View Post
    Why on earth would I smite you when I can ban you?

  21. #21
    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
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    I thought the bodies of water were searched?

    Thats what Emmies post says.

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

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    Cranjis McBasketball Nic B's Avatar
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    the place he was last seen has a small pond and is near a small, man made lake. both were searched.
    If this was the same pond he was found in, they obviously didn't search well enough. I always think of ponds as being relatively small, but I guess if a car went in there and they didn't even find the first time around, I could be wrong.

    Edited to add: this is from RBW post, I must have missed it -

    According to the sheriff's office, the body of water in which the vehicle was located had previously been searched at least two other times.


    Quote Originally Posted by marakisses View Post
    yes i said i will leave it under you storage he said cuddle with me i said shut up it over??? what am i doing wrong??

  23. #23
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    No surprise, but now it's official.

    https://www.desmoinesregister.com/st...ar/6175579002/

    Human remains found last week in a car submerged in a body of water near Hampton have been identified as an Iowa man missing since 2013.

    Ethan Kazmerzak was 22 when he went missing. He was last seen at various local bars on Sept. 15, 2013.

    His silver 2006 Volkswagen Jetta TDI was found Oct. 26 by a dive team in a body of water northwest of Hampton, according to a news release from Franklin County Sheriff Aaron Dodd. In it, human remains were discovered, authorities said hours later.

    Franklin County Sheriff Aaron Dodd confirmed the Iowa State Medical Examiner's office identified Kazmerzak's remains as the remains found in the vehicle. Multiple things indicated it was Kazmerzak in the vehicle, Dodd said.

    "It was pretty easy to identify (Kazmerzak)," Dodd said.

    Dodd declined to release details about how the vehicle and Kazmerzak ended up in the body of water or if criminality is suspected. Those details will be released when the Medical Examiner's office finishes its investigation and Dodd's office gets the final report on the case, he said.

    Additional tests being performed by the Medical Examiner's office could take three more weeks, Dodd said.

  24. #24
    Senior Member kevansvault's Avatar
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    Reading through this thread again breaks my heart.

    What could have been an open and shut case years ago has turned into a years long mystery that has made a family suffer every moment that he never showed up at the door.

    What could have started the healing process and helped everyone involved to move on, had things been done with any sense of the importance that it carries for those involved.


    To those who knew Ethan, those of you who know the family...I am so sorry. You have lived, for the past seven plus years, what truly is every parent's/friend's/family member's worst nightmare.


    Seven years of wondering if he's just a few towns over, or he somehow travelled out of state. Seven years of tears from those who loved him that only dried themselves. Seven years of fear that something had happened to Ethan and he couldn't tell you what.

    I hope that you all may find closure with the new discovery, and that neither anger nor fear rule your hearts and minds. I hope that there are lessons here for everyone involved, as hard as that may be to comprehend, and that those lessons are well learned and remembered.

    Should you ever find your way to this forum, please know that for some of us, this is deeply personal, whether we know the victim(s) or not. I am so very sorry for your loss.

    kv
    Don't like what I have to say? I respect that. Now go fuck yourself.

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