Police find dead body in passenger’s seat after stopping to help stranded driver

DES MOINES, IA – A motorist in Iowa found himself in hot water after seeking assistance from state troopers to jump-start his car. The troopers discovered a body, riddled with bullet holes and hidden under a heap of clothes in the passenger seat, as per the charging document.
The driver, identified as 23-year-old Jihad Gasaway, was apprehended on Tuesday. He faces charges of murder and abuse of a corpse in connection with the death of Kemp Harriel, 26, as per the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s statement.

Gasaway was initially noticed by the Iowa State Patrol around 8 a.m., his Chevrolet Malibu stranded on the shoulder of Interstate 80 in Poweshiek County. He informed the responding troopers that his vehicle had stalled and required a jump-start, as stated in an affidavit.

Upon requesting assistance, Gasaway allegedly informed the officers about a Taurus 9mm pistol in his pocket. This led to a search and the subsequent horrifying discovery in the passenger seat, as per the affidavit.

Officials stated that Harriel’s body was hidden beneath clothing items and seemed to have sustained gunshot wounds. An autopsy later revealed that Harriel had succumbed to two gunshot wounds to the chest, fired from the Taurus pistol. The medical examiner determined his death to be a homicide.

During an interview with the police, Gasaway allegedly admitted to having a dispute with Harriel while they were traveling together from Cedar Rapids to Des Moines. However, he claimed he was unaware of Harriel’s death. He covered Harriel because he thought he was very cold and didn’t realize he was dead until he saw the reaction of the police, as per the affidavit.

Gasaway is currently detained in the county jail with a bond set at $50,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for October 12.