Fatal fall at state park under investigation

Local News

Iowa Department of Natural Resources officials are investigating a fatal fall early Saturday at Bellevue State Park in Bellevue, Iowa.

Shortly after 4:15 a.m., local authorities were notified about a person who had fallen from a bluff at the park, a news release says. Authorities have identified 36-year-old Iris Merfeld of Zwingle, Iowa, as the woman involved in the fatal fall.

According to authorities, Merfeld had been visiting an overlook known as Pulpit Rock in Bellevue State Park when she fell an estimated 150 feet from the bluffs to the rocks below. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities believe alcohol may have played a role in the incident. No foul play is believed to be involved. 

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) continue the investigation.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Bellevue Police, Bellevue Fire Department and Maquoketa Police assisted the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The park remains open, the release says.

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