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'The car will tell its own story:' details of Kazmerzak case still coming together
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'The car will tell its own story:' details of Kazmerzak case still coming together


Few new details have come to light since Wednesday, when a car belonging to Ethan Kazmerzak, a Hampton man who has been missing since 2013, was found in a pond near Olive Avenue, along with human remains.

Franklin County Sheriff Aaron Dodd said he's not willing to draw any conclusion nor close any doors when it comes to the discovery, noting the findings from forensic investigators might be a number of days out.

"I'm not willing to make any assumptions when it comes to the identity of the individual in Ethan's car or the circumstances surrounding any of it," Dodd said. "The (autopsy) results could take a couple of weeks."

Jared Leisek, a scuba diver and YouTuber on the channel “Adventures With Purpose” made the discovery of the vehicle on Monday. The car and the remains inside it were recovered from the water Tuesday afternoon.

Leisek said the vehicle was located around 90 feet from the edge of the water, with the roof of the car only about eight feet below the surface. He said that during the dive, they found all of the car windows were rolled up, and upon reviewing video footage of the dive, he said law enforcement noticed the front windshield missing.

Dodd was unwilling to confirm any details about the condition of the car, reiterating that it was still being processed by investigators. He did acknowledge, however, that the vehicle could provide key information.

"The car will tell its own story," Dodd said.

Ethan Kazmerzak


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The pond had been thoroughly searched with the use of sonar and divers more than once, the sheriff said.

"I am very familiar with the details of the initial search," Dodd said. "We know that pond was searched two or three days after Ethan went missing. We went back again that same November (2013.) It was the first body of water we looked at."

Dodd, who was not in office at the time of Kazmerzak's disappearance, said he's unsure how the vehicle went undetected during the first search.

"We have documentation of the search, we have photos of divers looking in that very spot," Dodd said. "I just don't have an answer."

He said his office is going back over notes and files from the initial investigation efforts, but declined to elaborate further.

Kazmerzak, who was 22 at the time of his disappearance, was last seen leaving a party near the pond in rural Hampton on Sept. 15, 2013. Phone records indicate he called his mother around 12:15 a.m. on his way home. He was never seen or heard from again.

"There’s a lot of speculation and everything else (about what happened), we just need to work through what we have," Dodd said. "We hope we can give the family a clear picture of what happened."

Dodd said anyone with information about the case is encouraged to come forward and can do so with out fear of getting into legal trouble. 

Ethan Kazmerzak: Still missing, seven years later

Seven years ago, Ethan Kazmerzak disappeared from Hampton without a trace. Look back on some of the Globe Gazette's coverage of his case over the years here.

If you have any information about Ethan or his vehicle, please call North Iowa Crime Stoppers at 1-800-383-0088 or the Hampton Police Department at 1-641-456-2529

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April Hemmes and Tom Kazmerzak, parent of missing Hampton man Ethan Kazmerzak, plead for information from the public in this September 2014 fi…

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A missing person poster for Ethan Kazmerzak, then 22, from Hampton.

Lisa Grouette is a Photographer and Reporter for the Globe Gazette. You can reach her at 641-421-0525 or lisa.grouette@globegazette.comFollow Lisa on Twitter @LisaGrouette


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