Investigators release tentative identification on body found in suitcase
COLUMBIA — The McDonald County Sheriff's Office in southwest Missouri confirmed Friday it made a tentative identification of a woman's body found after being put inside a suitcase in July.
Investigators said the body is thought to belong to 25-year-old Jessica McCormack, a Noel resident. They said McCormack had not been seen since mid-July, but authorities weren't notified of any concerns regarding her absence.
Formal identification will not be made until dental records and DNA samples are confirmed.
Deputies posted on Facebook Thursday that McCormack's three children hadn't been seen since her disappearance. One child's father filed a missing person endangered child report with the office.
Des Moines police found the children safe at a Des Moines apartment complex, according to a report from our sister station WHOTV.
“There was a lady who contacted us and said that she had three children who had been dropped off by their father a few days ago," Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek told WHOTV. "She really wasn't understanding what was going on but he hadn't returned yet."
Police said the father left a note saying whoever found the children now had guardianship of them.
McCormack's body was initially found by a cyclist July 29 on the side of Highway 59 between Noel and Ginger Blue in McDonald County. Investigators were cautious in making an identification due to the decomposition of the body.
When the body was found, deputies said it was being treated as a homicide.