3 children safe after mother’s body found along Missouri highway

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy WDAF Courtesy WDAF
NOEL, Mo. (KAKE) -

Three children have been found safe after investigators tentatively identified a body found on a hillside in southwest Missouri as their mother.

Police in Des Moines, Iowa, said Friday the children's father had dropped them off with a relative a few days ago. Police are seeking the man.

Sheriff Michael Hall said positive identification of the body found July 29 is pending but authorities believe it was 25-year-old Jessica McCormack. 

Investigators believe her body was stuffed into a suitcase that rolled down a hill after being thrown from a moving vehicle. The body fell out as it deteriorated.

McCormack was last seen around Noel in mid-July.

The Associated Press contributed to this update.

Previous story:

Authorities have tentatively identified a woman's body found in southwest Missouri last week and say her three children are missing.

KOAM reports the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office tentatively identified the woman as 25-year-old Jessica McCormack, who had not been seen since mid-July.

The children are 4-year-old Siah Casillas, 20-month-old Saidah Noor, and 7-month-old Intisar Mahamed. They were last seen around July 3. 

A bicyclist discovered the body along Highway 59 between Lanagan and Noel on Monday, July 29, the McDonald County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. 

McDonald County Sheriff Michael Hall says a bicyclist discovered the woman's decomposing remains along a state highway between the towns of Noel and Ginger Blue, about 80 miles southwest of Springfield.

Hall said last week that investigators believe the suitcase was apparently tossed from a vehicle and then rolled down a hill. He says it appears the woman's body eventually fell out of the suitcase as it deteriorated.

The sheriff’s office says the kids are possibly endangered. They're working with the Missouri State Highway Patrol to determine what type of alert is appropriate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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