Peggy Cottrell (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Peggy Cottrell (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Peggy Ann Cottrell

Missing Person

NAME: Peggy Ann Cottrell
October 26, 1934
167 lbs.
Disability – physical / mental
MISSING FROM: Marshalltown, IA
Marshall County
May 26, 2001


Case summary compiled by Jody Ewing
Marshall County in Iowa
Marshall County in Iowa
Marshalltown in Marshall CountyMarshalltown in Marshall County

Peggy Ann Cottrell resided at the Southridge Nursing Home in Marshalltown, Iowa. A relative dropped her off at the facility at approximately 6:30 p.m. on May 26, 2001, and Cottrell was last seen running away from the home only minutes later.

Authorities believe she left of her own accord, and said she had no history of dementia.

Cottrell was last seen wearing a white sweater with a pink and blue design and dark-colored slacks. She is described as a white female, 66 years of age at time of disappearance, 5’07” and weighing 167 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes.

“We talked with the family members at the time and they said she was in a good mood,” Police Chief Jack McAllister said in a 2008 story about the case.

A fisherman discovered Cottrell’s purse along the banks of the Iowa River several weeks after she was reported missing. Her ID and cash were inside the handbag.

Peggy Cottrell (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Peggy Cottrell (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

“We worked a lot on that and we could never know exactly what happened to her,” McAllister told the Times-Republican in an October 2011 interview. “To this day we don’t know where she went.”

Cottrell is in need of medication for unspecified reasons. She received her last dose at noon on the day of her disappearance. If she does not take her medicine as directed, she may become depressed or confused.

Cottrell’s ears are pierced and she wears eyeglasses. She may use the last name Dickenson and/or Rowan.

Her case remains unsolved.

Information Needed

If you have any information concerning Peggy Cottrell’s unsolved disappearance please contact the Marshalltown Police Department at 641-754-5725.


14 Responses to Peggy Cottrell

  1. e says:

    why is she not on namus?

    • Patrick Kerrigan says:

      Normally, it’s up to the investigative agency to enter the missing person into NamUs. However, many law enforcement agencies don’t use it, for whatever reason. A number of states have laws that require law enforcement agencies to enter all missing persons cases into NamUs.

      I look at NamUs, as another tool to spread the word that a person is missing. The other issue is that many agencies are not aware of the different websites related to Missing Persons, such as Iowa Cold Cases, The Charley Project, Websleuths and The Doe Network.

      Also, the number of people who are into True Cime, Cold Cases and Missing Persons is extremely high. In fact an early PR guy for NamUs, was involved in identifying a young woman found murdered by his then future father’in-law. When the internet came along it helped him figure out who she was.

      Also, a number of missing persons cases have been solved by people connected to The Doe Network.

      I even found a missing woman to apparently ran away from Camden, New Jersey. I searched her online about five years ago. I came across an entry for her on LinkedIn. Everything seemed to match up. I called the Camden Police and spoke with a female in investigator. She was upset that I did not have the full case report number. Plus, she seemed bothered that I was a complete stranger and had basically did their job.

      Also, I almost wanted to tell her to get off her posterior and dig through the records and find the original case,report. I was a former detective with a federal agency, and would gave soebtctge time to dig through are records especially if it was from a previous computer era case file.

      I should have offered to fly into Philadelphia, wrote up a follow-up and then borrowed one of their marked cars and driven to where this,young woman was,living and working.

      Plus, it would given me a chance to visit my former partner, who lives in Philadelphia. I figured out that they did the work, when the missing woman’s entry on NamUs, was restricted. I did not fetxa thank you from them. Nut a free tour of the USS New Jersey, a retired U.S. Nsvy battleship would have been nice.

  2. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    It seems odd, that she does not have dementia, but without medication, she becomes confused and depressed. I wonder why she was in a nursing home. Also, where did she live prior to being admitted. Also, how far away is the Iowa River, from where the nursing home is.

    Was, there any strange or odd behavior before she disappeared. She could have amnesia, and not have recgnized the nursing home. It might have seemrd strange to her, and fled before getting in trouble.

    • Patrick Kerrigan says:

      I was wondering how far away is the Iowa River, either from the town, or the nursing home. Also, what is the reputation of the home. Also, what amount f searching was done at the time. Also, the alias last names, are a concern, unless they are her maiden name, and she was married and then divorced.

      She could have been found, but being confused about her identity. A woman missing from Sullivan County, in New York for a bunch of years was found alive in a Lowell, Mass, nursing home.

      it appears that the remains of a woman, that matched her description were found by NYSP. They contacted the sheriff’s police. They dug up their case file, and rechecked her SSN, and found a woman in the nursing home, with a different name but the same SSN.

      They visited her and showed the picture in their files and recognized herself. So, how many other cases out there could be cleared by the search of SS records.

      • Patrick Kerrigan says:

        I searched Peggy Ann Cottrell on Ancestry. I found that she was born Peggy Ann Rowen in Union Township, Iowa in Hardin County. She was Peggy Ann Rowen, on June 1951, then Peggy Ann Dickenson, July 1955, and Peggy Ann Cottrell, on September 1970, according to her Social Security Application and Claims.

        I did not find any records of any marriages, or divorces. She had an older brother Larry J. Rowen, and two younger sisters, Marjorie Mae Rowen and Ruth Carola Rowen.

        There was an address of 840 11th Street, in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1954, for a Peggy A. Rowen. Also, an address in 1993 of 321 7th Street, West Des Moines, Iowa. No age of year of birth was connected to this last address.

        However, there was an entry for a Peggy & Roy Dickenson, of 2017 Grant, in Davenport, Iowa. This appears to be a business address in 1960. Not sure if this is her.

        She might have lived in Des Moines and West Des Moines, while working a the IVH according to Rosemary.

    • mitchell says:

      Jaw bone found today in Iowa River

  3. This is so sad. I also worked with Peggy on 2 E at IVH for several years.

  4. Talona Perry says:

    That makes me so sad. I knew peggy from the senior citizens center . She was a sweetheart. I was out walking with a group trying to help find her .

  5. This is so sad..I hope they find her

  6. Sherry Betts says:

    I worked with her at the vets home yrs ago ,her son was our best man in our wedding. So said not to know where your mom is or if she’s still alive or not

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