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Tragic closure for family of missing Mt. Pleasant woman

In this year-long mystery for Mt. Pleasant, investigators use forensic evidence and personal items to identify human remains.

“With the information that we have, everybody in the investigation is confident that the remains are that of Jackie Douthart,” said Special Agent Jeff Uhlmeyer, Iowa DCI.

Jackie Douthart, a 24-year-old mom, went missing shortly after midnight on May 22, 2011. She was never seen alive again.

“This is not how we would have wished for this story to end,” said B.J. Franklin, reading a family statement. “Our hope was that Jackie would be found alive and happy.”

It was a cold case until children discovered human remains this March in rural Henry County. The peaceful setting turned into a crime scene.

Investigators suspect foul play linked to Benjamin Biggs. Douthart met him just days before she vanished. He was the last person to see her alive.

“The result of that review by everyone involved clearly felt that we were on the correct path with the person that we zeroed-in on,” Uhlmeyer said.

But Biggs killed himself after stealing a car in Quincy last June, leading police on a high speed chase and shooting two officers during a standoff, who were unharmed because they were wearing protective clothing.

The findings come nearly a year to the day that Jackie Douthart was last seen alive in Mt. Pleasant. But authorities may never know exactly how or why she died.

Another forensic laboratory will study the remains for any clues linked to DNA or dental records.

The Mount Pleasant Police Department, (319) 385-1450, continues to investigate leads.

It’s tragic closure for those left to wait and wonder for a year.

“In the last year, we have missed her energetic and loving personality each day,” Franklin read. “No words can express how difficult the last year has been.”

For the Douthart family, a year that provides both answers and unanswered questions.

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