Update: Body found in Wapsi River - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Update: Body found in Wapsi River

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A fisherman finds a woman's body in the Wapsi River, and authorities think it might be the remains of a missing eastern Iowa woman.

Authorities say a fisherman called 911 Thursday at 7:40 p.m. for a body in the river.

The Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office said they've been searching for Rhonda Apfel for more than two weeks.

The woman's remains are in Des Moines, waiting for an autopsy to determine an exact cause of death.

The area authorities found the remains along the Wapsi River is quiet and secluded near the Cutshall Fishing Access sight.

Even though it's too soon to tell whether the remains are those of Rhonda Apfel, her sister, Sharre Spooner, said she's feeling relieved.

"Relief... We were searching that river for... I was just there Tuesday for 12 hours, and I just want to say thank you to the Black Hawk County and the Buchanan County Sheriff's Office for their diligence in this. They have been really upstanding in trying to help find my sister," Spooner said.

Sharre said, right now they're waiting for the medical examiner to identify the body through dental records.

"We have no reason to believe right now that there is any foul play, but we'll wait to see what the autopsy results show," Sharre said.

This is the spot a fisherman found the body, nearly seven miles away from where Rhonda Apfel's bike and belongings were found almost three weeks ago.

Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson says the time and distance traveled seem strange, but it's possible because of the recent severe weather, if in fact the remains are those of Rhonda Apfel.

"It's a little off that it was that far down stream, but then again we're talking about Mother Nature. I've often said when we're in the river and trying to recover someone, we won't recover them until the river gives us back, and we finally had the Wapsi give her back," Sheriff Thompson said.

Spooner said they plan to visit the area this weekend. 

However, an autopsy won't be done for at least another two weeks, because the medical examiner's office is so backed up in Des Moines.

After Rhonda's funeral, her family says they plan to host a memorial ride in her honor.

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