Human Remains Found in Cedar River Were Missing C.R. City Worker


Human remains found in the Cedar River last week have been confirmed to be that of a Cedar Rapids city worker who had been missing for almost eight months.

On Saturday, May 7, 2022, Erik Spaw went missing while working for the Cedar Rapids Water Division. He was reported missing that morning by co-workers at the J Avenue Water Treatment Plant. They reported Spaw’s personal vehicle was still there after he apparently hadn’t returned from working the night shift at the Northwest Water Treatment Plant on Ellis Road N.W.

Later that morning, Spaw’s work vehicle was found in the Cedar River, about a mile up the river from the Edgewood River bridge. The search for the 55-year-old Spaw, a Type 1 diabetic who had been struggling to regulate his blood sugar and insulin, began immediately.

After Spaw’s disappearance, the Cedar River was searched for a number of days by crews with the Cedar Rapids Fire Department. Search boats with draglines and tracking dogs were all used, and Spaw’s family hired divers from the state of Minnesota who searched the river. None of the searches provided any results.

On Friday, December 30, human remains were discovered by hunters in the Cedar River near Bertram. According to the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner has identified the remains as those of Erik Spaw. Foul play is not suspected in Spaw’s death. He had worked for the City of Cedar Rapids for more than two decades.

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