DAVENPORT, IOWA (WHO/KCAU)– The search for a missing Davenport girl came to a tragic end on Wednesday with confirmation that a body found in a farm pond last week is that of Breasia Terrell, who has been missing since last July.
The Davenport Police Department announced on Wednesday that the human remains found in DeWitt are those of Breasia Terrell.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Criminalistics Laboratory has confirmed the identity of Terrell’s remains through an autopsy.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the findings from DCI’s Crime Lab. We grieve alongside Breasia’s family and the community,” said Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski. “What’s important to know is this: the work of our investigators is not over. This is an open and ongoing investigation. We understand that the community wants to know where the investigation stands, and if anyone will be charged in this heinous crime. Because we are fully committed to the integrity of the investigation, we cannot comment on specific details – other than to say we are professionally, thoroughly and with our deepest commitment to justice, continuing the investigation. When we can share details with the community, we will.”
The announcement was made in a joint news conference on Wednesday with multiple law enforcement and community resource partners.
Her remains were found in a pond in a rural area of DeWitt, around 20 miles north of Davenport on March 22.
At the news conference, authorities said they cannot comment on the specifics of their investigation. It is now a homicide investigation, authorities said on Wednesday, after eight months of being considered a missing persons case.
Officials said as the community mourns the loss of Terrell, community leaders said they’re working together to assure that counseling services are available to those impacted by her death.
“We realize that many in our community feel a sense of helplessness and frustration, and it can take time and often the help of a counselor or mental health care professional to unravel feelings around such a loss,” said Chief Sikorski. “Both the Davenport Community School District and Family Resources have services in place to serve impacted students and our community as a whole.”
Nicole Cisne Durbin, the president of Family Resources, adds that similar support resources are made available to Terrell’s family can also be accessed by the community.
“Family Resources is committed to providing services to Breasia’s immediate family as well as members of our community that may have been impacted by her death. We know that times of crisis create instability for many, and we are committed to staying on the front lines with those we serve. Our victim and survivor services are provided free of charge to anyone who needs assistance during this difficult time,” said Durbin.
Breasia was reported missing on July 10, 2020. She stayed overnight with her half-brother at the home of his father, Henry Dinkins. Dinkins is a registered sex offender with a past conviction for sexually assaulting a minor girl.
He’s considered a person of interest in the investigation. He has been in police custody on charges unrelated to Breasia Terrell’s disappearance since last summer.
Police say their investigation is far from over and they need the public’s assistance again. Specifically, they want to hear from anyone who may live in the DeWitt or Clinton County area.
“We still need your help. If you think you saw something, contact our investigators,” Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski said.
To see the replay of the full news conference from Wednesday on Breasia Terrell, see the video above.