William Josephtong Dut had been working toward a goal when he died, his cousin said.

The 35-year-old Dut was saving money to visit his mother in South Sudan, said David Kang of Ames, Iowa. Dut hadn’t seen his mother in almost 30 years, Kang said.

On Monday morning, Council Bluffs police found Dut’s body wrapped in a sheet near South Ninth Street and Second Avenue. On Tuesday, they released his name.

Police are seeking the public’s help in figuring out what happened to Dut, said Sgt. Brandon Danielson. An autopsy has been done, but police are not releasing the results, and the cause of death remains under investigation, Danielson said. The department has not yet decided whether to rule Dut’s death a homicide, he said.

“We haven’t gotten to that point yet,” he said. Dut had not been reported missing, he said.

In addition to his mother, Dut is survived by his father in Omaha, a daughter in Missouri and siblings in Buffalo, New York, Kang said.

Sign up for World-Herald news alerts

Be the first to know when news happens. Get the latest breaking headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Kang said he talked with his cousin last week, and everything seemed fine. Dut lived in the Bluffs with a roommate and was planning to move out of his apartment, he said.

“He was a very kind man,” Kang said. “He liked to help people a lot.”

A friend posted this of Dut on Facebook: “This news absolutely breaks my heart. I will miss hearing your ‘see you tomorrow best friend’ everyday when you get off work.”

Dut’s body was found just before 9 a.m. Monday.

Sign up for The World-Herald's afternoon updates

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Phone: 402-444-1102.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Recommended for you

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.