A body found in the Mississippi River has been confirmed to be Willis Hughes of Davenport.
The body found Tuesday, April 29, 2014 reportedly matched the description of Mr. Hughes, who had been missing since before Christmas 2013.
Willis Hughes, 45, was last seen at about 11 p.m. December 21, 2013. He had reportedly been despondent since his wife unexpectedly passed away a few days after Thanksgiving.
Friends, family and volunteers continued to search for Mr. Hughes. Extremely harsh winter weather sometimes made coordinating search efforts difficult.
Willis Hughes was last seen in the area of 7th and Perry in Davenport. He was wearing a t-shirt, jeans, white gym shoes and a dark-colored coat. His cell phone was left at his apartment, and his vehicles had not been moved.
Posts on a Facebook page dedicated to the search for Willis Hughes, indicated his family and friends had followed the discovery of a body in the Mississippi River near Keokuk March 28, and another body found in Clinton April 27, 2014.
A post to that page April 29 indicated another body was found that matched the description of Willis Hughes, and that dental records may be required to identify the person found. A later post indicated they were still waiting for information from authorities. A post April 30 confirmed the family had been notified the body was Willis Hughes.
Muscatine County Chief Deputy C.J. Ryan confirmed the body was found by a fisherman just after 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 29, upstream from the Shady Creek campgrounds east of Muscatine.
Davenport Police Department Asst. Chief Donald Schaeffer said dental records helped confirm the body was that of Mr. Hughes.
“It is too early to estimate how long Mr. Hughes had been in the water, but it did appear to be a lengthy period,” Schaeffer said.