Missing Ottawa Resident found deceased after vehicle discovered abandoned 

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Ottawa, Illinois – The LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office responded to an abandoned vehicle report on Friday, March 5th at the US Silica on 701 Boyce Memorial Drive. Upon arrival, deputies discovered that the vehicle belonged to Joshua Szarka, a person reported missing and endangered by the Ottawa Police Department that same morning.

A search was conducted by the deputies, and shortly after, Szarka’s body was found in a ravine on the south side of the property. The LaSalle County Coroner’s Office, LaSalle County Detectives, MABAS Division 25 Technical Rescue Team, and the Emergency Management Agency were all dispatched to assist in the investigation.

Szarka, a 31-year-old Ottawa resident, was identified by authorities. The LaSalle County Coroner’s Office will conduct a forensic autopsy on Monday, March 7th. At this time, there is no suspicion of foul play, and the incident remains under investigation by the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office, Ottawa Police Department, and LaSalle County Coroner’s Office.

Sheriff Adam Diss urges anyone with information regarding the incident to come forward and contact the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office.

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