Officials Say Drake Student's Death a Homicide, Search River for Evidence


By Becky Ogann

Indianola, Iowa
41.360394 -93.559589

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WARREN COUNTY - Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations crews were back at the scene of a homicide in Warren County Thursday morning.

A DCI spokesperson told KCCI in Des Moines that investigators are conducting an evidence and information search along Highway 65-69 near Indianola where 19-year-old Drake University student Benjamin Backstrom was found early Tuesday morning.

Backstrom was transported to a Des Moines hospital where he later died.

Police towed a car from an area at Summerset State Park just a mile and a half away from the bridge near the Banner Shooting Range.

A DCI spokesperson said a dive team will be conducting a river search in the Middle River Thursday. DCI crews will also be walking the park as part of the evidence search.

The Department of Criminal Investigation has not released any other information. Investigators were waiting for autopsy results from the Polk County Medical Examiner to determine the cause of death.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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