Officials Confirm Body Found During Missing Teen Search

Published: Dec. 17, 2015 at 2:54 PM CST
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Searchers looking for a missing teen report at 12:33 p.m. that a body has been found in the area they are searching. They have not yet made an ID on the person found dead, KCCI's Kim St. Onge reports from the scene.

The medical examiner has been called to the scene, which is along Highway 141 between Grimes and Granger.

Officers from six agencies are looking for Sam Kemp, 17, who disappeared Saturday night. Members of his family are at the scene waiting for word from searchers.

The person found dead was reportedly found in a pond near the area where the teen went missing last Saturday. Kemp went to a party that had between 150 and 200 people in attendance.

When police busted the party, Kemp darted outside and hasn't been heard from since.

“He said, ‘Mom, I’ll see you. Love you.’ And he walked away,” said Clarice Smith-Kemp, Kemp’s mother. “That was my youngest son and I need him so much."

Smith-Kemp is pleading with anyone who has information about her son’s whereabouts.

Family members gathered Wednesday to help find their loved one.

“It’s freezing. It’s not warm. We’re by the pond. We’re walking through the woods, tracking through mud, water. It’s a lot,” said Lisa Jones, Kemp’s aunt.

From noon until nighttime, Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies walked a 4-mile span from Grimes to 121st Street.

Investigators focused on the ditch along Highway 141.

Their search will expand beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday.

“We’re going to have another dive team company come out and do a secondary search. Deputies and detectives are going to take ATVs and search around the area … (and) further expand (from) the area they already searched,” Sgt. Brandon Bracelin said.

In addition to the ground and water search, the Iowa State Patrol will fly over the area for an aerial view.

Family members said their outlook gets darker with every passing day.

“It’s the fear of what the outcome is going to be,” Jones said.

“I’m putting my trust in God that you’re still alive, but if you’re not, God loved you best and I do too,” Smith-Kemp said.

Anyone with information about the teen is asked to call the Polk County Sheriff's Office at 515-286-3333.