The discovery of a body in a local farm field has ended the mystery of an Effingham County man’s disappearance during the summer.
At 1:17 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17, a farmer discovered human remains and personal effects in a field while harvesting soybeans. The farmer called 911 and authorities, including officers with the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department and the county coroner’s office, responded to the scene, located west of Effingham County 1000th Street, less than a mile south of U.S. Route 40 near Funkhouser. Illinois State Police Division of Crime Scene Services were asked to assist in the investigation.
An autopsy was conducted on Oct. 18 at HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital with dental records used. A forensic pathologist identified the body as Erik Douglas Nelson, 52, of rural Effingham.
Nelson was reported missing by his family on July 25. All leads for the Sheriff’s Office were exhausted on that investigation until the discovery of the remains last week.
The case remains under investigation with a cause and manner of death not yet determined. Authorities involved in the case, however, do not suspect violence or foul play killed Nelson.