Barbara Lenz

Barbara Lenz (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Barbara Lealyn Lenz

Missing Person

Barbara Lealyn Lenz
Age at Report: 31 YOA
DOB: August 30, 1957
Weight: 130 lbs.
Height: 5′ 07″
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Blue
Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing From: Logan/Woodbine, IA
Harrison County
Case Number: 89-03215
NCIC Number: M-360981053
NamUs MP # 5423
Missing Since: May 6, 1989


Harrison County in Iowa
Harrison County in Iowa
Logan in Harrison County
Logan in Harrison County
Case summary compiled by Jody Ewing

Barbara Lealyn Lenz, 31, was last seen alive by her boyfriend, who said he dropped her off at her apartment on Saturday, May 6, 1989. Barbara said she was going to visit an old boyfriend in Omaha that afternoon, but never arrived.

The Iowa Missing Person Information Clearinghouse says Lenz was reported missing to the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office in Logan, Iowa, that same Saturday.

Lenz lived about 17 miles northeast of Missouri Valley in Woodbine, Iowa.

Lenz’s family spoke with the Woodbine Police Department Wednesday, May 17, 1989, and said they remembered specifically the last day any of them had any contact with Barbara — Wednesday, May 3.

At the time of Lenz’s disappearance, her mother was hospitalized in Missouri Valley with pneumonia and Lenz visited her every day. When Lenz didn’t visit her mother for two days in a row, her mother sent relatives to check Lenz’s residence.

Inside the home they found Lenz’s coffee pot half-full and still switched to the “on” position, a pile of half-folded laundry, and Lenz’s keys and her purse. It appeared she’d been interrupted in the middle of folding her laundry and taken from the home against her will.

Barbara Lenz early 20s

Barbara Lenz in her early 20s (Courtesy

Lenz, who had a 3-year-old daughter, hasn’t been seen since.

In May 2006, mushroom hunters in Council Bluffs, Iowa, found a 55-gallon barrel with a woman’s skeletal remains inside, but dental records concluded the woman was not Lenz.

Lenz has a purple-colored scar two inches below her left elbow. Officials classified Lenz as being in physical danger, and her case remains unsolved.

According to NamUs, a DNA profile has been submitted and is complete.

When the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Barbara Lenz’s case was one of approximately 150 cases listed on the Cold Case Unit’s new website as those the DCI hoped to solve using latest advancements in DNA technology.

Although federal grant funding for the DCI Cold Case Unit was exhausted in December 2011, the DCI continues to assign agents to investigate cold cases as new leads develop or as technological advances allow for additional forensic testing of original evidence.

The DCI remains committed to the resolution of Iowa’s cold cases and will continue to work diligently with local law enforcement partners to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice for the victims and their families.

Information Needed

If you have any information about what happened to Barbara Lenz, please contact Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Don Shreffler at (712) 396-3821.




27 Responses to Barbara Lenz

  1. Shawna says:

    One of my friends told me a gruesome story on what she heard. She had heard that her boyfriend threw her into a wood chipper and fed her to some pigs

    • Gail says:

      I hate rumors, I just wish her family could find out the truth and put her to rest. God bless the Lenz family and friends.

      Regarding the wood chipper and pigs theory I feel someone has watched too many criminal minds or CSI.

      • Lindsy says:

        Thank you Gail. :) We still have hope. I’ve heard many gruesome rumors but have learned to shake them off. :)

        • Kim says:

          Yes unless someone knows & can prove it, Speculation is insensitive & cruel for the family members ready this. Turn over rumors to the police as tips if you think they have any basis in fact & let them find the real truth..And the family will deal with it then.

  2. Jennifer lickliter says:

    I lived there 1991-1995. I alway heard about some guy named hoopy Davis buried her in his back yard.

  3. Pam says:

    I agree that they need to look at her boyfriend at the time. If he dropped her off and she told her boyfriend she was going to an old boyfriends house there is noooooo way in h-e-l-l that any boyfriend would be okay with that!!!!! Of course he had something to do with it, isn’t that obvious?! He drops her off at home then a few hours later she is to go to Omaha to see an ex? What probably happened is he left all mad then came back after dwelling on his anger of the thought of his woman spending time with and old boyfriend and forced her out of her house against her will. OR they got into a fight and he took it too far then covered up his tracks by trying to make the police look for another person and also throwing the police off to buy himself time to cover what he did to her. I don’t know the people but I do know people from the area as I was born and raised in the Dow City/Schleswig area. My heart goes out to the family and I hope they get the closure they deserve!!!

  4. Betty (Rief) Wallen says:

    I grew up with Barbara and we were neighbors. I remember one of her boyfriends was Richard Gruber and he went to prison when Iowa raided the Woodbine school there. Could that be who she was going to see? I know they were very close do not know what happened to him for sure. Davis I have heard was someone they really need to look into. I hope her daughter gets closure soon. Our prayers are with you.

  5. Travis Wulf says:

    At the time this was my uncles sister inlaw. Can’t beleive it has been this long with no answers.

  6. julie grinnell says:

    What was Robert Davis’ aliby? Why didnt the police look at him? Wouldnt suprise me if it was him.

    • Tyler says:

      It has been said that it was Robert many times. I was only 2 at the time but I remember it like it was yesterday. They had thought he Buried her on my grandfathers farm, but never found her body. I believe she out there still

  7. Lindsy says:

    Thank you. :)

    • LuAnn says:

      Prayers to you Lindsay..Hopefully someday you can find the answers your looking for and find some closure & peace….

  8. Lindsy. You are in my prayers and I hope soon you can put your mom to rest. I remember this. I was a sophomore in Woodbine.

  9. Who was her boyfriend at that time? Again, was he a suspect?

  10. I always wonder when I may see my cousin being on here for his cold case. Thomas Mather was brutally murdered in his own home. I would like to see justice for him.

  11. lindsy says:

    Thank you ladies. I just happened to stumble along your posts about this grace doe. I am Barbara’s daughter. I am seriously looking into this unidentified body. The heighth is off by 5 inches or so but it is certainly worth a shot. Thank you so much. :)

    • Gail says:

      Did you have any luck looking into this grace doe person?

      • Jody Ewing says:

        The McDonald County, Missouri unidentified woman does have dental information and charting entered, so officials could compare that to Barbara’s dental records. NamUs lists six individuals who’ve been “ruled out” as being this decedent, and Barbara isn’t one of them, so there’s still some hope a match might be made.

        Lindsy, I hope you get answers in your mother’s disappearance (and suspected death) very soon. The ‘not knowing’ is a heavy burden to bear. My thoughts are with you.

    • I hope your able to put your mom to rest. May she be put to rest by your family soon.

  12. LuAnn says:

    Did the police question Barbaras boyfriend in her disappearance?? Sounds to me like he could maybe be withholding information and why would she be visiting an “old boyfriend” in Omaha????? That seems really strange. Maybe she told her boyfriend this and he got upset with her and jealous and maybe did something to her? Also it says that her coffee maker was left on, her laundry half-folded and she had left her purse and keys @ her apartment…Like the investigators said it does look like she either left somewhere in a hurry, or was taken against her will…Where was her 3-year old daughter @ the time??

    I hope that this case will be solved soon and that her family and friends will find some closure…………………………………………….

    This is just my speculation.

    Also why would Barbara be reported missing to the Harrison County Sheriffs Office in Logan, Iowa when she lived in Woodbine???

    • Gail says:

      Logan, is where the sheriffs office and jail is. Logan, is about 9 miles from Woodbine. Woodbine has local police, sheriff was probably notified because they at state wide.

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