Body Discovered in Rathbun Lake


Authorities say a body was recovered from Rathbun Lake Monday morning and an investigation has begun.

The Appanoose County Sheriff’s Office received a call at 6:40 AM of an abandoned Ford pickup on the Rathbun Lake Dam (Highway J5T).

As investigators searched the sides of the vehicle, a body was discovered under the water surface in Rathbun Lake in front of the dam. The deceased was identified as John Selby Irvine III of Centerville. The truck at the dam was also found to be registered to Irvine.

Preliminary details given to law enforcement indicated that Irvine may have been experiencing a mental health crisis and entered the water on his own initiative.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office has been requested in assisting in determining the cause and manner of death.

The sheriff’s office is being assisted in the investigation by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Appanoose County and Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Offices.

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