Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  DCI Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 amurphy@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

DCI Identifies Man Found on Bridge

Indianola, IOWA--- Early Tuesday morning, law enforcement officers found a man leaning over the side of a bridge near Indianola. He was transported to a Des Moines hospital where he died of his injuries.

Benjamin Backstrom, 19, of Norwalk, was pronounced dead at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. Backstrom was a sophomore at Drake University in Des Moines. Investigators are now treating this case as a homicide. The cause of death will not be determined until an autopsy is performed by the Polk County Medical Examiners Office.

At approximately 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 27, 2010, Warren County dispatch received a 911 call with a report that a man was leaning over the side of the bridge on Hwy 65, four miles north of Indianola. Sheriff’s deputies arrived to find Backstrom, who is a white male. Backstrom was taken by ground ambulance to a Des Moines hospital.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) for assistance with the investigation. This investigation is on-going.

If anyone traveling along Hwy 65 between the hours of 10:30 p.m. on Monday, April 26, 2010, and 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 27, 2010, saw anything suspicious, investigators are asking for their help. If you have information that could help authorities, please contact the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at (515)961-1122.

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Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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