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Investigators: body in Muscatine is likely Hawk Newberry

MUSCATINE, Iowa - Investigators are on a mission to identify the body of a young boy pulled from the Mississippi River near Brown's Island not far from Riverside Park the evening of August 5.

Death investigator Richard Hines of the Muscatine County Medical Examiner's Office said the body of the boy was "decomposed beyond recognition".

He said the body was of a boy between the ages of 2 and 5 years old.

A fisherman found the body Sunday night and alerted police.

The discovery comes two weeks after  2-year-old Hawk Newberry fell into the river near Schwiebert Park in Rock Island.

Newberry has not been seen since, but Hines says it is "very likely" that a body would float from Rock Island to Muscatine in the amount of time that has passed since Newberry was last seen.

"When it involves the Mississippi River or a large body of water its weeks before (a drowning victim) is found," Hines said.

Newberry's family drove to Muscatine to try and help determine if the boy found in the river was Hawk.

Hines said that because of conflicting information about what Hawk was wearing when he fell into the river, and about basic information about his appearance such as his eye color, they were unable to immediately identify the boy to be Hawk.

Hines noted that the inconsistency in memory and recollection can be typical after traumatic experiences.

It is still unknown if the boy who was pulled from the river in Muscatine is Hawk Newberry.

Now investigators from Muscatine will head to Rock Island to try and review video camera footage from near Schwiebert Park on the night Hawk fell into the river and also to gather Hawk's dental and medical records.

Those records can be used once an autopsy is completed to determine a match.

Hines said that a DNA test could take weeks, or even months to yield results and identify the boy who was pulled from the river.

 

This is a developing story, WQAD News 8 will provide updates as they become available.