A young Iowa woman is recovering in the hospital after being stuck in a storm sewer. When Council Bluffs Police found her on Sunday night, more than 24 hours later, she was suffering from hypothermia.

In the freezing temperatures, 24-year-old Melissa Ramirez fell six feet into an uncovered storm sewer at 6th and Avenue E Sunday.

On Monday afternoon, police say that Ramirez is at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where she’s listed in critical condition. Public Works Director Greg Reeder says theives may be to blame.

Reeder says that there are probably many sewer covers missing around Council Bluffs because people have stolen them.

“We probably have 10,000 to 20,000 castings all over the city,” said Reeder. “It’s just physically not possible to keep track of every one and inspect everyone.”

Reeder urges anyone who sees a cover missing to please contact them.

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