Missouri Morel Hunter Finds Body in Woods

Missouri Morel Hunter Finds Body in Woods

In my search for morel mushrooms, I’ve found a lot of interesting things: shed antlers, paired up box turtles, stone points, old traps, and all manner of non-target spring edibles.

But there’s one thing I’ve never found and don’t hope to—a dead body.

While mushroom hunting in the small St. Louis suburb of Pevely, Missouri, Jill Rodgers came upon the stuff of a forager’s nightmares. As reported to various news outlets, a rolled up moving blanket among the leaf litter caught Rodgers’s eye. After nudging the blanket with a large stick, Rodgers made a horrifying discovery: a human body, only the foot visible protruding from beneath the fabric’s edge.

Per a press release from the Pevely Police Department, the remains were found on the evening of April 23 in a woodline near the 9000 block of Taylor Drive. Police responded and secured the scene. An autopsy was performed on the body and the remains are in the custody of the Regional Medical Examiner.

News outlets have reported the body as belonging to a woman, who has not yet been positively identified. The Pevely Police Department has deemed the circumstances under which the body was found as suspicious and the investigation is ongoing.

Finds like this are surprisingly common—this is the second body found by a mushroom hunter in MO this week alone—and part of that might be owed to the places mushroom hunters tend to frequent. Great morel spots have a few things in common: they’re secluded and brushy, but not so far off the road that they’re inaccessible, and not so brushy that they’re difficult to navigate.

Apparently, those habitat traits overlap with what criminals seem to look for when disposing of a body. So, mushroom hunters, know that there is something worse than going out into the mushroom woods and returning empty handed. Like Rodgers, you might stumble across something you wish you hadn’t.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call the Pevely Police Department at 636-475-5391 and contact Chief Mark R. Glenn.

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