DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Investigators are trying to identify a body recovered from a rural Pottawattamie County well and determine if there's any connection to other decomposed women's bodies discovered in southwestern Iowa.

Authorities were using dental records to see if the body is that of April Sheree Corter, 24, of Red Oak. She was last seen Sept. 25, and was reported missing Oct. 11. The body was discovered on Monday, and a cause of death had not been determined.

"We're still on hold, basically," Red Oak Police Chief Drue Powers said earlier this week.

Of the five women's bodies found this year in southwest Iowa, two of the cases have been declared solved.

So far, officials don't think there is a connection between Corter's disappearance and the unsolved cases.

"We first want to check and make sure to see if April Corter is the victim," said Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker. "But there doesn't appear to be any sort of connection."

Officials have sought links between Thomas Tomich, 50, of Council Bluffs, and two of the women's bodies that were found several months apart outside Glenwood.

Tomich killed himself on Nov. 16 -- one day after authorities identified the remains of his ex-wife, Lois Tomich, who had been missing for 23 years. Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber said he considered the suicide a confession to Lois Tomich's 1983 murder.

Omaha police also said they have been investigating Tomich in the death of Debra Barajas-Gutierrez, 44, after they discovered Tomich had paid to bail her out of the Sarpy County Jail in Nebraska on May 16. She was last seen nine days later. Her body was found Nov. 14.

Mills County officials said investigators are also seeking links between Tomich and Brianne Flowers Smith, 24. Her body was found June 10.

She and Barajas-Gutierrez both had criminal records that included prostitution.

Authorities haven't ruled out the possibility of Tomich being a serial killer.

"We're looking into the possibility of any relationship between any of the victims," said John Quinn, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

The other body found this year was that of 35-year-old Tracy Tribble. She had been missing two weeks before her body was discovered May 20 in the Missouri River in Pottawattamie County. Her husband, Stan Tribble, was later charged with first-degree murder. He is awaiting trial.


Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com


Load comments