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May 18, 2015 | KCCI.com
DES MOINES, Iowa —Recent high profile child abduction cases have triggered the creation of a new Child Abduction Response Team in Iowa.
The new team will be trained to specifically handle future child abduction cases.
Authorities said the abductions and murder cases of Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey in Evansdale and Kathlynn Shepard in Dayton were key in the decision to form the new team.
Authorities held a news conference Monday morning to show the new CART trailer and equipment.
May 15, 2015 | Iowa Department of Public Safety
DES MOINES, Iowa — In response to the recent tragic abductions and murders of Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey in Evansdale, Iowa, and the abduction and murder of Kathlynn Shepard in Dayton, Iowa, the Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) has formed a Child Abduction Response Team (CART) that will be better trained and better equipped to respond to child abduction cases in the future across the state.
For the past several months, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) has been working closely with AMBER Alert, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the U.S. Department of Justice, and nationally established CART programs across the county to identify the best ways to investigate these types of incidents. The Iowa CART program’s sole mission and main goal is recovering and returning abducted children to their caregivers.
May 11, 2015 | wcfcourier.com
CHARLES CITY | Casey Frederiksen will not get a new trial and must serve two consecutive life sentences for sexually abusing and killing 5-year-old Evelyn Miller in July 2005. First, though, Frederiksen must complete his previous federal prison sentence for possession of child pornography.
“My granddaughter got justice after 10 years. What more can you say?” Linda Christie told members of the media after the hearing.
Hamilton County jurors in March found Frederiksen, 36, guilty of first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse.
May 9, 2015 | latimes.com
Etan Patz, a 6-year-old boy who disappeared in May 1979 while walking to a bus stop in Manhattan, has never been found, and a jury on Friday declared itself unable to reach a verdict in the trial of a former grocery store clerk who was charged with Etan’s murder more than three decades after he vanished. Etan, whose fate proved a catalyst for national efforts to improve methods of finding missing children, is not the only child to disappear without a trace.
Johnny Gosch, a freckle-faced 12-year-old from West Des Moines, Iowa, was last seen heading out to deliver newspapers on Sept. 5, 1982.
May 7, 2015 | thegazette.com
ELY — A forensics team that specializes in identifying human remains is helping search for evidence outside a rural Ely farmhouse once linked to a Marion man who went missing a year ago and is presumed the victim of a homicide.
A current homeowner referred questions about activity on the property to the Marion Police Department. Marion police Chief Harry Daugherty declined Thursday to provide details, but said his department is involved in a federal drug-related homicide investigation.
Police say the disappearance of James Booher, 51, of Marion is considered a homicide and still is unsolved.
April 29, 2015 | thonline.com
About one year after Crystal A. Arensdorf went missing in July 2001, her mother, Barbara Beam, read an article about the murder of Kenny Joe Johnson, which had gone unsolved for 15 years. She said she remembers hoping it wouldn’t take that long to find out answers about her daughter. This year marks 14 years since Arensdorf, 20, was last seen at a Dubuque bar.
“It’s really heart-wrenching,” Beam said. “You think about it every day and the different scenarios that go through your mind. … We just want to find out what happened to her.”
Arensdorf’s disappearance is one of several Dubuque Police Department cases that remain unsolved. But a new campaign announced Tuesday will strive to help investigators shed new light on cold cases.
April 28, 2015 | thonline.com
Crystal A. Arensdorf went missing on July 4, 2001, but for her sister it still feels like it happened yesterday.
“It’s hard to think of what would she be like today, if she would have children, what would she be doing with her life,” Jennifer Puetsch said. “It’s been 14 years and we have no clue. There’s no more information than the night she disappeared.”
Several community members are now hoping to offer a substantial reward to help solve Arensdorf’s disappearance and unsolved murders in Dubuque.
April 9, 2015 | Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil
SIDNEY – Fourth District Judge Timothy O’Grady sentenced Brian Davis to life in prison on Thursday for the July 2009 death of his girlfriend, Holly Durben. Additionally, Davis, of Shenandoah, was sentenced to pay court costs in the case, make restitution for his court-appointed attorneys, and pay $150,000 to either the estate of Holly Durben or her heirs.
In a February bench trial, O’Grady found Davis guilty of first-degree murder in Durben’s July 18, 2009 death. Durben was found with a shotgun wound to her head in the couple’s bedroom at the farmhouse where they lived, about four miles south of Shenandoah on U.S. Highway 59.
April 8, 2015 | desmoinesregister.com
Johnny Gosch, the 12-year-old paperboy who disappeared 32 years ago in West Des Moines, takes center stage in a documentary appearing the week of April 24 at the Fleur Cinema.
The dark, true-crime film called “Who Took Johnny” tells the story of the disappearance of one of the first missing children to appear on a milk carton through the eyes of his mother, Noreen, who has never stopped searching for the abductors.
Noreen Gosch says the film was the first she’s ever agreed to take part in, and the filmmakers tackled it with “honesty and compassion.”
“It will give people the opportunity to see the whole story of what happened behind the scenes” after Johnny disappeared early on Sept. 5, 1982. The film also sheds light on how little was known at the time about pedophilia and the child sex trade, which Noreen Gosch is convinced played into the abduction.
“But today human trafficking is everywhere — it’s on everybody’s lips,” she said.
April 6, 2015 | chinadaily.com
It’s been nearly seven months since Shao Tong, 20, a chemical engineering student at Iowa State University, was found in the trunk of her car parked under a tree on the outskirts of Iowa City. She had died of asphyxiation and blunt force trauma, and her body was estimated to be in the car for about three weeks before being discovered on Sept 26.
A 15-pound barbell was found next to her in the Toyota Camry, as well as copies of flight information in the backseat. The one-way ticket to China was in the name of Li Xiangnan, 23, Shao’s boyfriend, a business major at the University of Iowa, who stayed in a hotel with her on Sept 6, flew back to China on Sept 8 and vanished after Sept 10, a CNN report over the weekend said.
The CNN report has stirred renewed discussion within Chinese social media, and according to Zhou Xiaohui, the victim’s cousin, grief still haunts the family.
“It’s a torment for us because as far as we know, the murderer is still at large,” Zhou told China Daily on April 5. “All we are calling for is justice in the case.”
Iowa jury convicts Georgia man of 2nd-degree murder in ex-roommate’s death
April 3, 2015 | The Associated Press / greenfieldreporter.com
BOONE, Iowa — A Georgia man was convicted Friday of second-degree murder in the killing of his former roommate in 2009.
Jurors in John Green’s trial returned a guilty verdict Friday, one day after they began deliberating. Prosecutors had sought a first-degree murder conviction in the death of Mark Koster, 58, of Sac City, but jurors found him guilty of the lesser offense.
First-degree murder denotes the intent to kill, while second-degree murder indicates the intent to do harm but not the intent to kill.
Koster was declared missing in 2010. His remains were later found buried in his basement after new owners began renovations.
February 24, 2015 | wcfcourier.com
CHARLES CITY | Prosecutors hope to limit the evidence jurors can consider when Casey Frederiksen’s murder trial begins Monday in Hamilton County.
Authorities allege Frederiksen, 35, sexually abused and then stabbed to death his live-in girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter, Evelyn Miller, in July 2005. According to the state’s theory, he then dumped the little girl’s body in the Cedar River to hide his crime.
Law enforcement officials did not arrest Frederiksen until September 2012. He is charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree sexual assault.
February 23, 2015 | wcfcourier.com
EVANSDALE | Police Chief Kent Smock has left his fire chief duties to focus exclusively on law enforcement, including the hunt for those responsible for the deaths of two young cousins.
Smock had been serving jointly as the city’s police and fire chief for three years. He resigned as fire chief and is taking a month of vacation before returning full-time as police chief.
Since July 2012, he has been leading the investigation into the deaths of Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8. The cousins disappeared July 13, 2012, and their bodies were found by hunters Dec. 5, 2012, in the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area.
Smock has served in the city’s fire department for nearly 40 years and was appointed chief in March 2002. A retired Black Hawk County Sheriff’s deputy, Smock was appointed police chief in March 2012.
February 20, 2015 | whotv.com
WATERLOO, Iowa — After 10 days of testimony, it took a jury just six and a half hours to reach a verdict in Terri Supino’s double murder trial.
The jury found Supino not guilty Friday afternoon in the brutal 1983 murders of her estranged husband Steven Fisher and his girlfriend, Melisa Gregory. The couple’s bodies were found beaten to death at the Copper Dollar Ranch near Newton.
Since the murders, Supino has lived under a cloud of suspicion. She said this past year, the year she spent in jail, was the worst.
“Anxiety. Taking medication. I’ve been a nervous wreck. I just want to go home,” Supino said after the trial concluded.
February 20, 2015 | wcfcourier.com
WATERLOO | Jurors reached a verdict Friday afternoon, finding Theresa “Terri” Supino, 54, not guilty of two counts of first-degree murder.
The group received the case about 3 p.m. Thursday and deliberated about seven hours.
Jurors — eight women and four men — had the choice to find Supino guilty of first-degree murder, guilty of second-degree murder or not guilty.
February 20, 2015 | newtondailynews.com
WATERLOO — After nearly 6.5 hours of deliberation, jurors found Theresa “Terri” Supino not guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in the March 3, 1983 deaths of her estranged husband Steven Fisher and his girlfriend Melisa Gregory.
Supino broke into tears in the courtroom after the verdict was reached, immediately embracing her son Rocky Supino who has been in the courtroom throughout most of the trial. She also was held by her co-counsel Jill Eimermann who was also in tears following the unanimous decisions from the 12-member jury.
February 20, 2015 | desmoinesregister.com
WATERLOO – A jubilant and defiant Theresa Supino embraced her son and criticized law enforcement after a Black Hawk County jury found her not guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in the 1983 beating deaths of her husband and his girlfriend.
Supino stared ahead and appeared to be shaking as the verdict was read. Her son, Rocky, was crying. The two then embraced.
After the verdict was read, Supino told reporters she’s ready for law enforcement to “leave me the hell alone.”
February 16, 2015 | kmaland.com
(Sidney) — Thirty-five year-old Brian Heath Davis was found guilty of 1st degree murder Monday afternoon in the 2009 death of Holly Rae Durben.
District Court Judge Timothy O’Grady handed down his verdict in Fremont County District Court shortly before 3 p.m. Sentencing for Davis has been set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 4th. The Class A felony charge of 1st Degree Murder carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.
February 16, 2015 | newtondailynews.com
WATERLOO —Jasper County Sheriff John Halferty took the stand Monday afternoon in the double murder trial of Theresa “Terri” Supino, detailing his personal stake in the Copper Dollar Ranch cold case, as well as the amount of time and effort he’s invested in the investigation.
Attorneys for Supino tried to show what they’ve characterized as theatrics and staging in some of the decisions leading to Supino’s March 3, 2014 arrest.
February 16, 2015 | whotv.com
WATERLOO, Iowa — Testimony continued Monday in the Copper Dollar Ranch murder trial, where Terri Supino is accused of killing her estranged husband and his girlfriend back in 1983.
Steven Fisher and Melissa Gregory were found beaten to death at the ranch near Newton. Gregory’s body was found inside a camper on the property and Fisher’s body was found a few feet away.
Monday jurors heard from a DCI agent who talked about inconsistencies in Supino’s story.
February 16, 2015 | wcfcourier.com
WATERLOO | Jurors on Monday heard from and saw defendant Theresa “Terri” Supino describe events related to a double homicide in March 1983 outside Newton.
On Tuesday morning, the jury was scheduled to walk about a block to a Waterloo police storage facility to inspect the camper where one of the victims, Melisa Gregory, died. The inspection was rescheduled from Monday.
February 16, 2015 | desmoinesregister.com
WATERLOO, Ia. – Police interviews with the Altoona woman accused of killing her husband and his girlfriend reveal inconsistencies in her account of the 1983 murders, an investigator testified Monday.
February 15, 2015 | cbs2iowa.com
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) – In an exclusive interview during the holiday season, the family of cold case murder victim Michelle Martinko pleaded for those with information to do the right thing and call police. Now we know, Cedar Rapids investigators and cold case unit members did receive tips. The 18-year-old Kennedy High School senior was found dead in her family car in the parking lot of the newly opened Westdale Mall in December of 1979. Despite numerous suspects and 35 years of searching for the killer, there has never been an arrest.
- Courtesy photo Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier
- Theresa “Terri” Supino
February 9, 2015 | wcfcourier.com
WATERLOO | Prosecutors in their opening statement promised to offer bits of evidence during Theresa “Terri” Supino’s trial for two counts of first-degree murder.
They did just that Monday morning as the second week of testimony began, calling a string of witnesses who each added a few nuggets of information.
Supino, now 54, allegedly killed her estranged husband, Steven Fisher, 20, and his girlfriend, Melisa Gregory, 17. The pair died nearly 32 years ago on the Copper Dollar Ranch near Newton.
The case moved to Black Hawk County on a change of venue because of the case’s local notoriety. Full Story
February 9, 2015 | wcfcourier.com
We are not surprised by the quick and heavy response to a request from law enforcement concerning the abduction and murder of two Evansdale cousins.
Virtually everyone in the Cedar Valley is looking forward to the day when the perpetrators of those crimes are identified.
Recently local police traveled to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to discuss the investigation into the cases of Lyric Cook Morrissey, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8.
A $150,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers also has a $20,500 reward for anyone coming forward with information that simply leads to an arrest. Full Story
February 3, 2015 | clintonherald.com
EVANSDALE (AP) — Investigators asked the public Tuesday for tips about anyone familiar with a remote wildlife area where two Iowa girls’ bodies were found in 2012.
Evansdale Police Chief Kent Smock said he had “no doubt” that whoever killed 10-year-old Lyric Cook and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins was familiar with the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area in rural northeastern Iowa. He said residents should turn over information about any acquaintances known to frequent the “extremely remote” area well-known among local residents but otherwise difficult to find.
“We are asking that everyone think about anyone they know who is familiar with Seven Bridges. At some point in their life, they may have hunted there. They may have fished there,” he said at a news conference carried on live television. “They may have gone there to party.”
February 3, 2015 | The Omaha World-Herald, omaha.com
SIDNEY, Iowa — Imprisonment. Torture. Isolation. Battery. Holly Durben’s sister used these words in testimony Tuesday to describe Durben’s relationship with her boyfriend, Brian Davis.
Davis is charged with first-degree murder, accused of killing Durben in 2009 at the home they shared south of Shenandoah.
February 1, 2015 | desmoinesregister.com
WATERLOO, Ia. – The trial is expected to begin in Waterloo on Monday for an Altoona woman arrested on murder charges last year — more than 30 years after the two killings at Copper Dollar Ranch northwest of Newton.
Theresa Supino, 53, was arrested in March in connection with the 1983 deaths of her estranged husband Steven Fisher, 20, and Melisa Gregory, 17, who had been dating Fisher.
Fisher and Gregory had such severe head trauma that authorities had to use dental charts and fingerprints to identify them. Their deaths were ruled homicides.
The case and the 31-years-later arrest of Supino were featured last year on the cable television show “Cold Justice.” That show’s investigators were part of interviews and other work that led to Supino’s arrest. Full story.
January 30, 2015 | WHOTV.com
NEWTON, Iowa — A Jasper County woman will go to trial next week for a 30-year-old crime.
Terri Supino is charged with two counts of first degree murder. She is accused of killing her estranged husband 20-year-old Steven Fisher and his girlfriend, 17-year-old Melisa Gregory, at the Copper Dollar Ranch back in 1983.
Investigators with a cable TV crime show helped police make the arrest last year.
Due to all the publicity surrounding the case, the trial has been moved to Black Hawk County. Jury selection begins Monday.
January 29, 2015 | WOWT.com
Police in Evansdale, Iowa are seeking new help to find leads in the abductions and deaths of two young cousins back in 2012.
Cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey were abducted in July 2012 and found dead at a wildlife refuge five months later.
Evansdale Police Chief Kent Smock is now in Washington D.C. at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He hopes a fresh sight of eyes will help give investigators the break they need.
January 28, 2015 | By Jeff Reinitz, The Globe Gazette
EVANSDALE | Iowa investigators were in Virginia on Wednesday to discuss the Evansdale missing cousins case with representatives from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Evansdale Police Chief Kent Smock and an agent with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation will be in Alexandria until Friday as part of a case review in the investigation into the disappearance and deaths of Lyric Cook-Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins.
The girls, ages 10 and 8, disappeared while riding their bikes in Evansdale on July 13, 2012. Their bodies were discovered the following December in a wildlife area in rural Bremer County.
No arrests have been made in the case. Read More.
January 23, 2015 | By Brandi Bachman, KCRG-TV9
CEDAR RAPIDS — Illinois State Police say they’re following new leads in the cold case murder of Tammy Zywicki.
Zywicki, 21, disappeared while driving to school for her senior year of classes at Grinnell College in August of 1992. She had been driving from her home in Evanston, Illinois to Iowa, but she never made it to school. An Illinois State Trooper found her vehicle abandoned along I-80. Days later, her body was found with multiple stab wounds, wrapped in a blanket, along I-44 near Joplin, Missouri.
Illinois State Police say they are conducting interviews, as well as searching DNA files and public records as the delve into the case. They’ve also presented it to the VIDOCQ Society, a group out of Philadelphia that looks into unsolved deaths, to help expand the investigation.
January 23, 2015 | press-citizen.com
About a year before he would return to Minnesota to make the arrest, Iowa City Police Detective David Gonzalez knocked on the door of then-73-year-old John Bloomfield’s apartment in St. Paul, where the murder suspect stuck to his long-held story.
He did not know who killed his wife 15 years earlier when the couple lived in Iowa City.
Bloomfield told Gonzalez he had no idea what happened on Sept. 20, 1997, in their home located on a quiet eastside cul-de-sac. That’s the day Frances Bloomfield is believed to have been strangled to death. Her husband said he was away at that time, traveling on business. Full Story
New leads considered in murder of Eastside High grad Tammy Zywicki
January 22, 2015 | greenvilleonline.com
Illinois State Police have turned to a nationally known organization of criminal investigators for help in solving the 1992 murder of Tammy Zywicki.
Master Sgt. Jeff Padilla told The Greenville News Wednesday that State Police investigators presented evidence to members of the Vidocq Society in Philadelphia in November and have been following up on their suggestions since.
January 13, 2015 | By Katie Alexander, KWQC.com
Facebook users can now expect to see Amber Alerts in their news feeds when a child in their region has been abducted.
It’s one more way to get the message out to as many people as possible, tapping into the tried and true power of social media to help bring missing persons home.
Some of us already do get some Amber Alerts in our Facebook news feeds, but you have to opt in to that by “liking” the Iowa or Illinois Amber Alert page to get those notifications.
Now though, Amber Alerts will show up in the news feeds of everyone in a targeted search area automatically. And, local community leaders say that could make a big difference. Read More.
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