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We at Iowa Cold Cases would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family of Willis J. Hughes. Mr. Hughes, 45, was last seen in Davenport on December 21, 2013. His body was recovered from the Mississippi River on Tuesday, April 29, 2014.
On Wednesday, April 30, Muscatine County Chief Deputy C.J. Ryan confirmed a fisherman found the body upstream from the Shady Creek campgrounds east of Muscatine just after 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Hughes, a Genesis Hospital employee, had reportedly been despondent since his wife unexpectedly passed away a few days after last Thanksgiving. Family, friends and volunteers continued searching for him despite harsh winter weather, and Hughes was one of the first two individuals listed on a new Quad Cities Missing Persons Network Facebook page established in January.
WQAD.com reported today that a memorial fund has been set up to help Hughes’ family with unexpected funeral costs. Donations to the fund may be made to any IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union location; checks can be made out to the credit union with “Willis Hughes” on the memo line.
“This final news is very hard for any family to hear. We are all with the Hughes family and friends in spirit, and extend our deepest sympathy,” said a post from the Quad Cities Missing Persons Network.
A Quad-Cities Times article dated April 30 said the network was founded by Dennis Harker of Rock Island following the disappearance of his son David Harker in September. The 29-year-old’s body was later found in the Mississippi River, and the death ruled accidental.
The Times also reported:
On Saturday, Harker will open the Quad-Cities Missing Persons Network’s first in-depth public informational event.
Members of the group will be introduced and will discuss their goals. They also will talk about what family and friends should do in the first hours that someone is missing.
The event will be held from 8 a.m. – noon May 3 at the Genesis Adler Education Center at 1236 E. Rusholme St. in Davenport.
Hughes’ case remains under investigation by the Davenport Police Department and the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office.