Karen Theresa Streed
Karen Theresa Streed
Case # 71-00703
Home Residence: Cedar Rapids, IA (Linn County)
Body Found in Amana, IA (Iowa County)
Disappeared October 18, 1971
Body Found October 24, 1971
Case summary compiled by Jody Ewing
On Sunday, October 24, 1971, Karen Theresa Streed was found dead in the old Amana millrace canal located between West Amana and South Amana, Iowa. She had been missing one week and had been shot four times in the head.
- Linn County in Iowa
Cedar Rapids in Linn County
Streed, who was employed by the American Optical Co., told co-workers she planned to hitchhike to Iowa City to see her husband, Ron Streed, a student at the University of Iowa. The couple lived at 112 Seventh St. SW in Cedar Rapids, and Ronald Streed commuted to classes at U of I.
Mrs. Streed was last seen Monday evening, Oct. 18, at Sixth Street and Sixteenth Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids at about 6 p.m. She was wearing a black poncho cape, a light-colored T-shirt, levi jeans and boots.
Lynn Trumpold, 17, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Trumpold of Middle Amana, was hunting Sunday evening along the millrace between West and High Amana when he spotted Streed’s body floating face down in the water. He made no effort to retrieve the body, and rushed home to tell his father, who called the Iowa County sheriff.
An autopsy performed at the U of I Hospitals in Iowa City determined Mrs. Streed was killed late Oct. 18 or early Oct. 19 and that her body had been in the water two to five days. In addition to the four gunshot wounds to Streed’s head, there also were marks on her head showing she had been struck with a blunt instrument three times.
Streed’s husband made the identification from personal items found on his wife’s body.
The couple had married June 24, 1970, in California, and Mrs. Streed had been a resident of Cedar Rapids for about a year.
Investigators in Streed’s death included the Cedar Rapids Police Dept., the State Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and sheriff’s deputies from Iowa, Linn, and Johnson counties.
Streed’s father, Mathias Casey, a 17-year veteran of the Foxboro, Mass., police department, worked with investigators on his daughter’s case but was not a part of the official investigation.
Ron Streed had organized a search for his wife earlier on Sunday in the Coralville reservoir area. About 100 volunteers combed an area about 10 miles from where Mrs. Streed’s body was found.
Authorities said Streed was clothed but that her black poncho, a green Army slicker and boots were missing. Scuba divers were unable to locate any of the missing items.
- Courtesy photo Duane Crock, Cedar Rapids Gazette
- Law enforcement officials look on as divers explore the old Amana millrace canal in search of items belonging to murder victim Karen Streed.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that as officers were organizing a search at the bridge Sunday night, a man with a California license plate on his car drove up to the scene and offered to help in the search. Officers questioned him, and when he told conflicting stories and could produce no identification, he was arrested on a charge of having no driver’s license and taken to the Johnson County jail.
Three scuba divers and a man in a boat combed the millrace from the highway 220 bridge south of West Amana for about 195 feet east to the point where Streed’s body was found.
Iowa County Sheriff William Spurrier said there was nothing to indicate Streed’s body had been carried to the place it was found, and speculated that the killer dumped her body upstream and it floated to the area.
Karen Streed was one of four young Iowa women slain within the month. Maureen Farley, 17, was found bludgeoned to death near Cedar Rapids on September 24. On October 17, the body of Jeanine Marie Christensen, 18, was found in her Storm Lake apartment. She had been raped and strangled, and police later arrested Miss Christensen’s fiance, Michael Dean Peterson, on a first-degree murder charge. On Oct. 23, the day before Streed’s body was found, the body of Miss Karen Ann Goers, 23, was discovered in a ditch along a Mahaska County road. She had been shot several times in the head. Charles Silvers, 31, of Oskaloosa was held in connection with Goers’ death.
Karen Streed was survived by her husband, Ronald; her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Matthias Casey of Foxboro, Mass.; three sisters, Sandra, Paula and Regina, all at home; grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Winfred Busch of West Roxbury, Mass., and Mrs. Catherine Casey, Dorchester, Mass.
After a long illness, Matthias Casey passed away June 18, 1987, at the age of 60. Karen’s mother, Constance Casey, died April 12, 2012 at the age of 87.
If you have any information about Karen Streed’s unsolved murder, please contact the Iowa County Sheriff’s Office at (319) 642-7307, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or send your information to Iowa Cold Cases via our Contact form.
- Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation
- Iowa County Sheriff’s Office
- “No Clues in Slaying of 2 Iowa Women,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Nov. 17, 1971
- “Unable to Identify Gun Used to Shoot Cedar Rapids Woman,” The Williamsburg (IA) Journal-Tribune, Nov. 11, 1971
- “Probe continues into the deaths of woman here and others in Iowa,” The Muscatine Journal, Wed., Oct. 27, 1971
- “Authorities Probe Iowa Deaths of 3 Young Women; Link Sought,” The Lincoln Star, Tues., Oct. 26, 1971
- “Hitchhiking Jaunt Ends in Tragedy,” The Newport Daily News, Tues., Oct. 26, 1971
- “Body Found Near Amana; Woman Missing a Week,” The Iowa City Press-Citizen, Mon., Oct. 25, 1971
- “Karen Streed’s Body Found,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Oct. 25, 1971
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