Davenport Police Take Lead in Carrie Olson Death

carrie-olson-and-dog-kolby-jack-qctimesCourtesy Quad-City Times
Carrie Olson and her beloved dog, Kolby Jack

The Davenport Police Department will be the lead agency in investigating the disappearance and death of Carrie Olson, Davenport Assistant Chief Don Schaeffer said in a news release Friday, April 11.

The 29-year-old Olson lived in Davenport but was last seen in Rock Island, Illinois, and found in Hastings, Minnesota.

A landowner in rural Dakota County (MN) reported finding the body of an adult woman in a wooded area Saturday afternoon, April 5. In a statement issued Tuesday evening, April 8, the Hennepin County (MN) Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the body was that of Carrie Olson.

According to a Quad-City Times article dated April 9, 2014, Olson’s body may have been in the Minnesota woods the entire three months-plus since she was last seen.

Funeral services and a Mass of Christian Burial were held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 12 at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 916 E. Rusholme St., Davenport, with private family burial taking place at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Davenport. Some 500 mourners attended the funeral service.


Cedar Rapids Police Seeking Anonymous Tipster

Michelle Martinko (Courtesy The Gazette)

Michelle Martinko (Courtesy The Gazette)

In a media release dated April 10, 2014, the Cedar Rapids Police Department requested additional assistance from an anonymous Linn County Crime Stoppers tipster who provided investigators with information about the December 1979 Michelle Martinko homicide.

On December 16, 2013, police received information from an individual that led investigators to a possible suspect. Investigators followed up on the lead, but the suspect’s DNA did not match the DNA on file belonging to Martinko’s killer.

Nonetheless, officials say the information provided was credible and investigators believe that further legitimate information from this individual will be beneficial to the case.

The tipster is encouraged to contact Det. Doug Larison at (319) 286-5412 or (319) 521-6003, and may continue to remain anonymous. The individual may also call Linn County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-CS-CRIME (272-7463) or text CRIMES (274637) and in the message/subject, type 5227 and the tip.


‘Defrosting Cold Cases’ features Grahlman double homicide as ‘Case of the Month’

Defrosting Cold Cases, an international true crime blog dedicated to victims of unsolved homicides, features Iowa’s Jay and Jaymie Grahlman case as its April 2014 “Case of the Month.

Jay and Jaymie GrahlmanCourtesy photo Shannon Salmons
Jay and Jaymie Grahlman

Jay Grahlman, 38, and his 6-year-old daughter, Jaymie, died from injuries suffered in a late-night fire set at their Cedar Rapids home on April 5, 2003.

Family friend and neighbor Brian Zirtzman — a man with an IQ of 67 — was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and arson but acquitted by a Linn County jury after court testimony indicated Zirtzman had been coached before going to police with a rehearsed confession “too complex” to be made by a man with a 67 IQ.

Alice de Sturler

Alice de Sturler

Human rights attorney Alice de Sturler, the blogger behind Defrosting Cold Cases and the blog manager for the American Investigative Society of Cold Cases (AISOCC), believes all victims of unsolved homicides need a digital footprint.

In 2013, de Sturler’s Defrosting Cold Cases blog won the American Bar Association’s “Top 100 Blawgs” in the criminal justice category.

Read Defrosting Cold Cases’ April 2014 Case of the Month: the Grahlman murders

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