Police have confirmed that a body found Tuesday in Muscatine County is that of a Davenport man who has been missing since December.
A forensic autopsy was performed Wednesday and dental records confirmed the body is that of Willis Hughes, 45, Davenport Assistant Police Chief Don Schaeffer said.
A fisherman discovered the body of an adult male about 9:15 a.m. along the shoreline of the Mississippi River just east of Fairport, Iowa.
Schaeffer said the body was without identification and investigators from the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office and the Davenport Police Department worked to identify the individual and determine the circumstances surrounding his death.
He said it is too early to estimate how long Hughes had been in the water, "but it did appear to be a lengthy period."
The case remains under investigation by the Davenport Police Department and the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office.
The identification was acknowledged on both the Find Willis J Hughes and the Quad-Cities Missing Persons Network Facebook pages.
"This final news is very hard for any family to hear," the post on the Missing Persons Network page stated. "We are all with the Hughes family and friends in spirit, and extend our deepest sympathy."
The network was founded by Dennis Harker of Rock Island following the disappearance of his son David Harker in September.
The 29-year-old’s body ultimately was found in the Mississippi River, and the death was declared accidental. The group also helped bring attention, primarily through Facebook, of other formerly missing Quad-Citians, including Carrie Olson and Hughes.
On Saturday, Harker will open the Quad-Cities Missing Persons Network’s first in-depth public informational event.
Members of the group will be introduced and will discuss their goals. They also will talk about what family and friends should do in the first hours that someone is missing.