Mushroom hunter finds woman’s body while scouring woods for morels, Iowa cops say

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A mushroom hunter was scouring a wooded area for morels when he discovered a woman’s body in Iowa, according to local news reports.

Police were called to the area at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 15, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported. Once there, they confirmed a body was tucked away “well off the road.”

The Waterloo Police Department opened an investigation into the woman’s death after she was found by the morel hunter, KWWL reported.

Her body is believed to have “been there for some time,” Police Capt. Jason Feaker told McClatchy News.

Feaker says investigators do not suspect foul play as of May 17, but the department is waiting for the Iowa State Medical Examiner to declare her cause of death.

Police have not publicly identified the body, but the Courier reported that officers are working to notify her next of kin.

At least two other mushroom hunters have found human remains this spring, McClatchy News reported. Earlier this month, Missouri mushroom hunters found a body inside “an old hand dug well full of water.” And in April, a mushroom hunter found a child’s body “near a roadway in a heavily wooded area” in Indiana.

In 2017, The Kansas City Star sought to answer the question, “Why do mushroom hunters keep finding dead people?”

“I think that mushroom hunters tend to find remains more than most because of how thoroughly we search an area looking for shrooms,” Ron Cook, the administrator of the Missouri Morel Hunting Facebook page, told the Star. “We tend to venture deep into the woods looking under brush piles, ravines, thickets, etc.. and hike into areas that others — such as deer hunters — wouldn’t hike in to.”

March through May is considered the best time to hunt for morels as spring weather brings moist, warm conditions, McClatchy News previously reported. Experts recommend mushroom hunters look around dead trees, previously flooded areas, moist woodlands and river bottoms.

Waterloo is about 115 miles northeast of Des Moines.

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