Prayer candle

A Virgin of Guadalupe prayer candle and a stone angel sit at the base of a tree in Sheldon City Park where a body was found on Saturday, May 30. The body was later identified as that of Oscar Alexander Herrera Guandique, 24, of Sheldon.

SHELDON—The Sheldon Police Department has confirmed the identity of a person whose body was discovered near the Sheldon Skate Park on May 30.

Twenty-four-year-old Oscar Alexander Herrera Guandique of Sheldon was found in a tree near the skate ramp by bystanders.

His body was shipped to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Criminalistics Laboratory in Ankeny for an autopsy to verify his identity. The autopsy also confirmed his death was a suicide.

In the middle of May, the Sheldon Police Department received a welfare call about Herrera Guandique.

His body was found by Sheldon residents Michael and Cassandra Mertes — who made the 911 call — while walking through the park with friends.

Mertes said her husband and their friends’ child saw the body first and her husband instructed the boy to go back to his mother and that’s when she walked over.

“I looked up and I saw feet and I thought it was someone sitting in the tree getting ready to jump down, trying to be quiet — being cute trying to scare people,” Mertes previously told The REVIEW.

“And then after the little boy went away, I looked up and I realized it wasn’t someone sitting; he was hanging.”

Mertes noted Herrera Guandique had to have been at the park for a few weeks because he was still in a jacket and had layers on underneath. Sheldon parks were closed for a period in the spring and early summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I thought he was a little kid because of how decomposed he was. He just looked so little,” Mertes said.