Welcome to Iowa Cold Cases

Thank you for taking time to visit Iowa Cold Cases, the state’s first and foremost repository of Iowa’s unsolved murders and persons missing under mysterious circumstances.

Founded in 2005, our goal is to provide case summaries for each victim while encouraging those with information to contact appropriate law enforcement officials with any known details about the crime.

Villisca Review, June 13, 1912Courtesy photo The Villisca Review
This Villisca Review article, published June 13, 1912, told the story of what eventually became Iowa’s most notorious unsolved murder case.

Here you’ll find victims’ stories and summaries compiled by data from police departments, county sheriffs’ offices, Crime Stoppers, newspaper archives, victims’ family members and friends, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s former Cold Case Unit. Cases are cross-referenced by name, year, decade, city, and county to make them more easily accessible to fellow writers and researchers or those who wish to learn more about a specific case.

Case summaries for decades-old cases would not exist if not for the countless journalists who doggedly pursued investigators for details, tracked down public records by shoe-leather reporting, and published their findings in newspapers long preceding today’s Internet search engines.

Though no statewide database summarizing all Iowa’s known unsolved murders existed online before ICC, we would be remiss in not thanking the hundreds of journalists and law enforcement officials whose dedication to profiling yesteryear’s victims made it possible to provide solid source information for the very cases we feature yet today.

We Remember: Upcoming Cold Case Anniversaries

Listed below are upcoming cold case anniversaries and, where noted, birthdays the victims would have celebrated.

National Missing Children’s Day
Keeping hope alive for families since 1983
Learn More and Take Action May 25
Debra Barajas-Gutierrez
44 YOA
Pacific Junction, IA
Mills County
May 25, 2006
Dennis Washburn
69 YOA
Edwards St.
Waterloo, IA
Black Hawk County
May 25, 2014
Un-ID White Male
Missouri River
Fremont County, IA
Case # 66-00724
May 26, 1966
Jane Doe
River Area SE
Des Moines, IA
Case # 1980-20704
May 26, 1980

Patricia Jauron
45 YOA
1516 Old Hwy 141
Sioux City, IA
Case # 98-06160
May 26, 1998
Peggy Cottrell
Peggy Ann Cottrell
Age at Report: 66
Missing From:
Marshalltown, IA
Missing Since:
May 26, 2001
Tom Mather, 32
Springdale, IA
Cedar County
Killed 9/30/1991
Would have celebrated 56th birthday May 27
Bryan Pence
21 YOA
3725 Hubbell
Des Moines, IA
Case # 1986-22875
May 29, 1986
John W. Jeffery
31 YOA
1018 E. 12th
Des Moines, IA
Polk County
May 29, 1990
Robert Scott
43 YOA
1000 Blk. E. 12th
Des Moines, IA
Case # 1996-22677
May 30, 1996
James “Jim Bob” Booher
51 YOA
Marion, IA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
May 31, 2014

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