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Henry County, state authorities still looking for answers in Anamosa woman's death

Henry County Sheriff's Office SUV
Henry County Sheriff's Office SUV

Authorities continue to look for answers in the death of a 29-year-old Anamosa woman whose body was found two months ago in a farm field west of Wayland near Highway 78.

The Henry County Sheriff’s Office said the body of Brandy Mae Shepherd-Margita was found Aug. 9 by a farmhand.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said an autopsy failed to reveal the cause of death. The Medical Examiner’s Office listed cause of death as undetermined, and toxicology tests are pending.

DCI Special Agent in Charge Richard Rahn described the death as “suspicious,” stating the investigation remains active.

“We are continuing to collect data and interview people,” he said. “We need to figure out what happened.”

The day before her daughter’s body was found, Heather Brokaw posted that her daughter had been missing since Aug. 2, and asked anyone who had information to come forward.

Two days later, Brokaw announced on Facebook that her daughter was dead.

“I have sad, sad news,” she wrote. “They found Brandy’s body in a field in southeast Iowa yesterday. My baby girl is gone. She will be missed terribly by her family and especially her (four) little babies.”

In the same post, Brokaw indicated her daughter might have had a problem with drug addiction, pleading for those who “need help with drug addiction” to “find a way.”

Brokaw told local news outlets in August that her daughter left four children — ages 9, 5, 3 and 11 months — who now are in Brokaw’s care.

On Aug. 13 — four days after her daughter’s body was found — Brokaw shared memories of her daughter on Facebook, stating Shepherd-Margita’s favorite color was orange and her favorite flower was the lotus. She also “loved to draw and color and write down her thoughts.”

“Her favorite character was Betty Boop,” Brokaw wrote. “When she got her first Betty Boop doll for her 4th birthday she said, ‘Ooooo, sexy woman!’ I’ll never forget that.”