GILBERTVILLE | Family members of a missing Waterloo teen now know his fate.
But questions remain in the death of 18-year-old Moe Sed, who disappeared in October and was found dead in the Cedar River over the weekend.
On Thursday, Waterloo police confirmed the remains discovered half a mile upstream from Gilbertville on Sunday were those of the West High School junior. Officials identified the body through dental records.
Relatives were notified of the development Wednesday night and issued a statement on Thursday.
“Our family is not sure what to say as we grieve the loss of our son. We are thankful for the support of the police and sheriff's departments and the entire Cedar Valley community for the many ways everyone came together to support our family during this difficult time," the statement reads.
"We thank you for your thoughts and prayers and encourage you to continue to share the kindness that you extended to us with one another. A funeral is being planned and we thank you for your continued support; a memorial fund for Moe Sed is being established as well. Thank you for your support, thoughts, and prayers," the statement continues.
Also on Thursday, school officials issued condolences.
“Our district is working with the family and refugee agencies to continue to offer our support. Counseling will be available for students or staff who need it. In addition, school interpreters are aware and will offer assistance. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” school officials said in a prepared statement.
What still isn’t known is how Sed died, and the answer may never be determined, police said. Capt. David Mohlis said further tests are pending with the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny.
The body was fully clothed, and there were no obvious signs of trauma, Mohlis said. Authorities haven’t disclosed an approximate time of death.
There was no other evidence discovered around the body, which apparently snagged on a brush pile in the river and was partially submerged when a trapper in a boat found it Sunday morning. A search of the river and its banks from the outskirts of Waterloo to Gilbertville on Wednesday produced no results, Mohlis said.
Police haven’t been able to confirm Sed’s whereabouts between the time he was last seen with his bike near his West Fourth Street home Oct. 22 and Sunday, when his body was found.
There were several sightings in the 56 days in between, but none of them were confirmed, and the reports didn’t come from people who were familiar with Sed.
One item still missing is Sed’s bike. The make and style weren’t available, but police said it would stand out because it had a blue rear rim and an orange or red front rim.