Investigation Ongoing Into The Death Of Oskaloosa Woman

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Investigators continue to search for answers in the death of 24-year-old Ashley Shafer of Oskaloosa.

On August 6th, 2019, shortly after 3:00 p.m., members of the Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office discovered the body of an adult female in the South Skunk River near the Glendale Access.

The Oskaloosa Police Department, the Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation began to examine the case. After an autopsy, it was determined that it was the body of Ashley Shafer, who had been reported missing on August 5th, 2019.

Oskaloosa News spoke with Adam DeCamp, Special Agent-in-Charge, about the current status of the investigation following the discovery of Shafer’s body on Tuesday.

“It was not that we believe that at anytime she was abducted, it’s just that no one knew where she was at that point,” DeCamp said of Shafer’s disappearance. “She was not abducted. The investigation is ongoing into her death or her cause of death, and her manner of death.”

“And of course, how she ended up in the South Skunk River,” DeCamp added. “That’s part of the investigation that is still ongoing. We’re still doing interviews, even today [Friday], following up trying to make sure we have a total understanding of all the facts and circumstances that led to both her death and, like I said, her ending up in the water.”

In regards to potential charges in the case, DeCamp stated he wasn’t sure about a charging decision at this point. “That’s a decision that’s made by the Mahaska County Attorney’s Office, and we’re of course working hand in hand with the county attorney’s office as well as the [Mahaska County] Sheriff’s Office and the Oskaloosa Police Department as we move through this investigation.”

“It’s something we’re working on vigilantly,” explained DeCamp. “A lot of hours trying to make sure that we find the right answers, and we’re able to get those answers to the community as soon as possible.”

We asked DeCamp if they had a good understanding of who Ashley was with last. “But to say that they’re suspects or not suspects, I can’t comment on that right now.”

When Shafer was first reported missing, initial posts said that she might be injured. We asked DeCamp why the concerned individuals would have reported that. “I don’t know the answer to that question. I don’t know why they would have thought that.”

“As a supervisor, I don’t know all the intricate facts of an investigation. I just kind of know what I’m briefed out on, and that’s not something I’ve ever been briefed out on.”

“We do not believe there is any immediate threat to other members of the public,” added DeCamp.

We asked DeCamp what exactly that means when they say there is no immediate threat to other members of the public. “When we say things like that, what we’re trying to explain is that we don’t think that there’s just somebody randomly going around causing harm to other people.”

DeCamp says that it could be weeks from an official ruling on a cause of death, and will be up to the medical examiner to release that information. “However, I don’t know that it will be that long if should someone be charged. It’s possible it could still be several weeks. I just don’t know that.”

When it comes to providing information to an anxious public, DeCamp said, “Sometimes things seem to be straightforward, and they’re not. So we have to sort through it and make sure we have the right answers. That’s way more important than a quick answer.”

Posted by on Aug 11 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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