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July 14, 2016: Police scour Iowa lake where human foot was found in June (Des Moines Register)
BURLINGTON, Ia. — Police are scouring a small eastern Iowa lake looking for additional human remains, weeks after a decomposed human foot was found near a spillway.
The Hawk Eye reports that Burlington police searched Lake West by kayak this week looking for additional body parts.
Police Major Dennis Kramer says investigators have been using various techniques to search the lake in northwest Burlington, including pumping water from the five-acre lake.
The foot was found on June 8 by people clearing brush around the lake. Authorities say it was discovered where a missing 53-year-old Burlington man’s bicycle was found last summer. Police say Steven Leasure has not been seen since May 2, 2015.
On Wednesday, June 8, 2016, a person clearing brush from the banks of Lake West in northwest Burlington noticed something suspicious entangled in the brush and debris, and contacted law enforcement.
“Based on a visual examination at the scene by our officer, it appears to be a human foot,” said Lt. Jeff Klein, commander of Burlington’s criminal investigation division. In a June 10 news report, Klein told The Hawk Eye the remains were X-rayed Thursday and the finding submitted to the Iowa state medical examiner’s office for official confirmation.
The foot was found near the lake where his bicycle was found almost exactly one year ago — about a month after Leasure disappeared. Investigators used a sonar-equipped boat to search the water, but nothing tying Leasure to the area was found, the Hawk Eye reported.
“We are continuing to treat his disappearance as a missing persons case, but we haven’t ruled out foul play,” said Klein. “We will await the forensic findings … Upon receiving (findings indicating the remains are human), additional investigative efforts will commence to determine the victim’s identity and establish facts relating to the remains location at Lake West.”
Steven Leasure, 52, was reported missing to the Burlington Police Department in Burlington, Iowa, on May 02, 2015.
Relatives said they last saw Leasure alive May 2, a Saturday, at a house in the 1400 block of Gnahn Street. Others reported seeing Leasure later that day at the Circle K convenience store at 1012 Maple St., putting air into his blue GT bicycle tires.
A passerby found the bicycle at Lake West on June 9, 2015, and officials verified it as Leasure’s via the serial number.
Investigators searched the lake with a sonar-equipped boat, but found no trace of Leasure.
The bicycle remains in possession of the Burlington Police Department.
Leasure is described as a 52-year-old 5-foot-10 white male weighing about 200 pounds. He has blue eyes and may be completely bald, and what hair that was there is dark blond in color. He may appear “scruffy.”
One eye is closed more than the other. He has a scar on his face that starts between his eyes and goes up over his left eye, and a surgery scar on the side of his head.
Leasure also has a tattoo of a catfish on his forearm about 4-5″ long.
He was last seen wearing jean shorts, a dark T-shirt, and black and red running shoes.
The Burlington Police Department and Iowa Department of Public Safety have classified Leasure’s disappearance as “Endangered / Physical,” meaning a person of any age who is missing under circumstances indicating that his/her physical safety is in danger.
Fingerprint information is available and on file with the Burlington Police Department.
A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information leading to pertinent information about the case.
Klein asked anyone with information to call the Burlington Police Department at (319) 753-8362 or (319) 753-8375.
Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (319) 753-6835.