Trucker went missing with hogs still loaded in semi, cops say. Body found months later

The body of a trucker who went missing while driving a semi full of hogs was discovered following a five-month search, Iowa authorities say.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety said in an April 24 news release David Schultz’s body was discovered in a field in Sac County, near where his abandoned semi was located in November 2023.

“Day 155 and my husband has been found,” Sarah Schultz said in a Facebook post. “We can now have some sort of closure.”

Since her husband was last seen Nov. 20, Sarah Schultz had been adamant he was “taken,” calling the circumstances behind his disappearance “suspicious.”

She reported her husband missing after learning he “had not dropped off a log of pigs” in Sac City as scheduled, the Sac County Sheriff’s Office said. He left his home at 7 p.m. on Nov. 20 and was tasked with picking up a load of pigs in Eagle Grove and transporting them to Sac City.

He picked up the pigs, but authorities said he “had been late to arrive.” David Schultz was last seen in video footage shortly before midnight on the 20th.

“I found out he missed a load, and I just got sick to my stomach,” Sarah Schultz told WOI in December. “He would never miss a load, he’s their guy. From then on, I knew something was bad wrong.”

His semi was discovered the afternoon of Nov. 21 after sitting there since early in the morning, according to the sheriff. David Schultz’s wallet and phone were in the semi, and nothing was determined to have been missing.

The hog confinement was also located, authorities said.

The sheriff’s office said more than 100,000 acres were searched by the United Cajun Navy and volunteers in the first three weeks David Schultz was missing.

But Jake Rowley of the United Cajun Navy told KCAU the specific field where David Schultz was ultimately found was not checked by his team “because we were told that these fields had already been searched.”

“So we ended up reaching outside of these areas,” he added to the station. “And that’s where our search area was, so that’s kind of where our search area came in. But it really does surprise me that it was that close.”

An unidentified person made the grim discovery in his field Wednesday, authorities said.

David Schultz’s body will be taken to the state’s medical examiner for an autopsy, authorities said. It’s unclear if the body was in the field the full five months he was missing.

“There’s a very good chance that the body wasn’t there even when they searched,” Rowley told the Globe Gazette. “And that the body was placed there after.”

David Schultz was a father to 10-year-old twin boys, according to a GoFundMe.

Sarah Schultz described her husband as “a good role model” for his sons, as well as her two children from previous relationships, according to NBC News.

“They’ve seen me cry, and they will come hug me and tell me everything’s OK,” she told the news outlet. “I think, you know, to them, their dad’s Superman. And they don’t think anyone could hurt him, you know. It’s just, unfortunately, not the case.”

Sac County is about a 125-mile drive northwest of Des Moines.

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