A body found in Iowa is likely that of a Berks County man who has been missing for the past two months, his family said Thursday.
Jonathan Elwell was last reported being seen in his hometown of Shillington on Apr. 17. An investigation revealed Elwell, 44, was in Carroll, Iowa, on Apr. 18. His rental car was found abandoned two days later in Crawford Co. Iowa, police said.
On Tuesday afternoon, police said they were called to an area along some railroad tracks in Crawford County, not far from where Elwell's abandoned rental car was found.
While dental records must still confirm the identity, Gay Elwell, Jonathan's sister and a district judge in Easton, told 69 News that the family has been advised the body is likely her brother's.
"The recovery of his body has ended the search that began two months ago when his rental car was found abandoned," the Elwell family said in a written statement. "And although we still – and probably always will – have unanswered questions about how he came to this place and this end, we are grateful that we will be able to bring him home to rest."
Results of an autopsy scheduled to be performed Wednesday have not yet been disclosed.
The Elwell family said they are thankful for the help they received in locating their "beloved son, brother, uncle and cousin."
"We are especially grateful to Crawford County Sheriff James Steinkuehler and Shillington Police Chief Brett Hivner, who have been enormously professional, thoughtful and compassionate throughout our ordeal," the family said. "The offices of U.S. Rep. Charles W. Dent and Steve King were also most helpful. We deeply appreciate the time and efforts expended by the many volunteers who assisted in the various searches conducted, including the Star 1 team. They define the best meaning of community."
The Elwell family said they are also thankful for a network of friends who helped them hope and pray for a different ending to Jonathan's disappearance.
"Although this is not the outcome we had hoped for, it is, at any rate, an ending, and we will strive for a new beginning."