2017 61st St., Des Moines, IA
Body found in rural Chariton, IA
Des Moines PD Case # 1960-10204
DCI Case # 6007871
August 27, 1960
On Monday evening, August 29, 1960, Dorothy Coon was found dead in a ditch alongside a road in Lucas County, Iowa, 12 miles north of Chariton. Her body — clad in a dark green dress and white shoes — was discovered by a farmer mowing weeds. Mrs. Coon’s purse was found one mile away.
Lucas County in Iowa
The Lucas County Sheriff’s Department said Mrs. Coon had been dead two or three days.
Sheriff’s dept. officials said heavy rains over the weekend may have washed away or covered up footprints, tire tracks or other clues involving in her slaying.
Preliminary reports showed no wounds on Coon’s body, but authorities noted there were bruises on the throat area and fractured neck bones indicating she may have been strangled.
Coons, a department store business office clerk and divorced mother of two teenage children, Nancy, 19, and Dennis 17, left home around midnight on Friday but never returned.
Richard Coon — Mrs. Coon’s ex-husband — provided a satisfactory alibi for his whereabouts from the time Dorothy went missing until her body was found. The two had divorced 10 years earlier and Richard had since remarried. He and his wife had relocated to Albia, Iowa, the year before.
The Coon’s children were living with Dorothy at the time of her murder but were asleep when she left the house late on Friday night.
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- IDPS Division of Criminal Investigation
- “Clues Scarce in Slaying of D.M. Divorcee,” Cedar Rapids Gazette, Aug. 31, 1960
- “Probe death of Iowan,” Mason City Globe Gazette, Aug. 30, 1960
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