A mysterious death in Henry County, IA leaves the community and police looking for answers
A mystery in Henry County, Iowa surrounding the death of a young mother is leaving police and community members wanting answers. Police are asking anybody who knows anything about Brandy Shepherd's death to come forward, especially since they have no leads. Nearly 3 weeks after Brandy was found dead, police haven't been able to find out how or why she died.
She's originally from Anamosa and was staying with friends near Mount Pleasant about 100 miles away. Her friends reported her missing, and a few days later, she was found in a cornfield in Wayland about 20 miles away.
Brandy was staying with friends when she disappeared, "our first contact from anybody from the young lady's family was a male friend from the Wayland community and he contacted us on August 5th and said "hey had you heard from her? She's been staying with me and I hadn't heard from her in a couple of days" and at that point, we hadn't," said Rich McNamee, Henry County Sheriff.
A few days later, the friends went out looking for her... Still nothing. "The same gentleman was saying they still can't find her, we better file that missing person report and got the next step and putting her as missing person," said McNamee.
They found her the next day, dead a few feet behind a fence on private property off of Highway 78 near West Park. The police received a call on August 9th afternoon from a local farmer saying, "they found a deceased person in one of their livestock pastures," explained McNamee.
Police were able to identify Brandy pretty quickly by piercings and body features, so they took the next steps. McNamee says they "broke into teams. We spoke to her parents, ex-boyfriends and the guy who found her again to get a thorough statement," however, "nothing obvious shined out saying 'this is how she died' and what happened with those interviews. So we rely heavily on autopsy and what that shows."
But the autopsy was undetermined. McNamee explains there weren't any obvious signs of suicide or homicide, "there were no obvious cases someone had done that. More forensic studies or toxicology may reveal that. At this point, we don't know."
The family and police want answers: "not having results is difficult. Difficult from an officer standpoint, difficult obviously from a family's standpoint. They want answers to their questions, and hopefully, we can get them answers soon. But right now we just don't have anything... I don't want this to turn in a cold case. Hopefully, we'll find some answers sooner than later," said Mcnamee.
The police and family are asking if you know anything, whether you saw Brandy or something suspicious around Wayland or Mount Pleasant in early August, contact the Henry County Sheriff's Department. They're expecting toxicology reports to come back in a few weeks, they're hoping that will help re-guide them to finding out how Brandy died.