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Body Found Near Iowa State Campus Identified as Missing ISU student

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AMES - The Office of the State Medical Examiner has positively identified a body found last night in an outlying building on the former ISU Dairy Farm as that of missing Iowa State University student Jonathan Lacina.

Lacina, 21, of 5119 Buchanan Hall, was last seen leaving a small gathering of friends at 300 Stanton Ave. the night of Jan. 22. He was a senior majoring in graphic design from Grinnell. Lacina's father, Tom, contacted ISU Police to report his son missing on Jan. 30.

Exhaustive air, water and ground searches for Lacina had occurred since that time. Search teams combed the area via fixed-wing aircraft, helicopter, on horseback and on foot. Canine teams also assisted in search efforts on several occasions. Most recently, personnel from city, county and university departments conducted daily checks of areas on and around the ISU campus.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. on April 14, an ISU Police officer examining remote areas of the former dairy farm south of campus (between Mortensen Road and Highway 30) discovered a man's body inside an isolated room of a brick structure. The building, located approximately one mile south of central campus, is no longer used for agricultural purposes.

ISU Police secured the scene and requested assistance from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the State Crime Laboratory, the Ames Police Department, Story County Sheriff's Office, the Story County Medical Examiner and the Office of the State Medical Examiner.

The manner and cause of death have yet to be determined. It could be a matter of days or weeks before examination and investigative results are obtained and analyzed, ISU Police Chief Jerry Stewart said.

"The investigation will rely heavily upon the results of the autopsy performed by the Office of the State Medical Examiner. This is standard procedure and required by law," Stewart said.

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