The Search for Brad Paullin
Police tried to track Brad's cell phone signal, but it was so weak that they could only determine that it was somewhere between Warren county and the city of Johnston. There had been no activity on his debit card. For six days, Des Moines police, along with volunteers on foot, ATV, and horseback searched both banks of the Des Moines River from just north of the Euclid Avenue bridge south to Birdland Park. They did not find any sign of Paullin. Two teams of police officers and search dogs also searched several square miles of the area where the young man was last seen. They, too, found nothing.
The lack of clues prompted the family to ask for volunteers with boats to help them continue their search in the water. On November 7, 2009, Paullin’s best friend and roommate, Ryan Jensen, who had been searching for him diligently, went out looking for him on a jet ski. He came upon Paullin’s body floating in the water.
"I saw something and circled back around. I looked at it again and didn't think it was anything. I went to leave the third time, came back around, took a good look at it was him," Jensen told whotv.com.
Friends called 911 and a Des Moines water rescue team arrived near the Euclid Avenue Bridge. That night, police confirmed the identity of the body.
Sgt. Joe Gonzalez of the Des Moines police told KCCI.com, "There is no sign of foul play and an autopsy will be conducted to determine the actual cause of death."
Brad Paullin was from West Des Moines, where he had attended Winterset High School. He worked in road construction. He was an only child.
Facts of Interest
Name/age: Bradley Wayne Paullin, 29
Hometown: West Des Moines, IA
Last seen: 10/31/09 2600 block of Shawnee Avenue, Des Moines, IA
Recovered: 11/7/09, Des Moines River
Physical Description: 5'10," 225 pounds, brown hair and blue eyes.
Investigating Agency: Des Moines Police Department at 515-283-4811