New Market

On January 23, 2015, in , by Jody Ewing
Taylor County in Iowa

Taylor County in Iowa

New Market in Taylor County

New Market in Taylor County

Cold Cases in New Market, Iowa




Double Homicide
Denise Diane Eberly, 3 years
Dixie Lynne Eberly, 13 mos.
New Market, IA
Taylor County
October 15, 1964

On Thursday morning, October 15, 1964, Dixie Lynne Eberly, 13 months old, and her 3-year-old sister, Denise Diane Eberly, died after an arson fire in the family’s rural New Market, Iowa home. The baby, Dixie, was burned alive in her crib. Denise died the same day at the Municipal Hospital of smoke inhalation. (Case information coming soon.)

Dennis Clougherty. Helen Morrow. Eugene Martin. Three victims, three lives gone, and one shared date families can’t forget: August 12.

Twenty-three-year-old Dennis Clougherty was a Vietnam vet preparing to start graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Helen Morrow, 55, surely never imagined her fate when offering employment to a hired hand. And Eugene Martin, only 13, simply wanted to make extra money to attend the Iowa State Fair.

Family members have long since buried Clougherty and Morrow. Eugene Martin’s parents lived and died waiting for answers that have yet to follow them to the grave.

Dennis Clougherty, a 23-year-old Vietnam vet and soon-to-be graduate student, was shot five times while hitchhiking through Iowa.

Dennis Clougherty, a 23-year-old Vietnam vet and soon-to-be graduate student, was shot five times while hitchhiking through Iowa on his way to Torrington, Wyoming.

August 12, 1974 — Dennis Clougherty

Around 4 p.m. on Monday afternoon, August 12, 1974, Dennis Clougherty left Madison, Wisconsin, with plans to hitchhike to Torrington, Wyoming, to retrieve his motorcycle. The bike had broken down in Torrington earlier that year and he’d had to leave it behind for repairs.

The 905-mile route between the two cities — a 15-hour trip on Interstate 80 — would be the fastest, but Clougherty chose the familiar Highway 20, perhaps in the hopes of catching a ride with someone he knew. From Torrington, Clougherty planned to ride the bike to Detroit, Michigan, where he’d promised to attend a weekend family wedding.

Clougherty never made it to the wedding, or to Torrington, or even past the first day of his trip; sometime between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and midnight, he was shot five times in the chest and left along Union Road south of First Street in Cedar Falls, Iowa. A passing motorist discovered his body the following morning. Some of his personal belongs, including a backpack, a clothes bag and Clougherty’s motorcycle helmet, were located approximately five miles south on Viking Road.

An investigation confirmed a motorist picked him up about 7 p.m. Monday while traveling westbound on Highway 20 near Dubuque, and gave him a ride to Independence, IA, dropping Clougherty off at a café there around 8:15 p.m. Clougherty ate at the then-Rush Park Café and left Independence around 9:15 p.m., hitchhiking westbound on Highway 20. Another motorist picked him up and drove him to Waterloo, dropping him off at the Highway 20 and Highway 63 intersection.

Here, two male subjects in their early 20s, driving a brownish/gold 1962-1964 Chevrolet car — possibly a four-door with beige interior — picked up Clougherty around 10:30 p.m. The young military vet and soon-to-be graduate student was never seen alive again.

August 12, 1980 — Helen Morrow

In Eldon, Iowa, witnesses saw Herman Pierce, 48, leave the home of Mrs. Helen Morrow, 55, the evening of August 12, 1980, just moments before flames began shooting from Morrow’s two-story frame house.

Authorities found Mrs. Morrow lying on a bed in a first-floor bedroom, and an autopsy report concluded she died of smoke inhalation.

Police arrested Pierce and held him in jail on an intoxication charge, and though county prosecutors filed first-degree murder charges against Pierce on August 26, they reconsidered and decided to convene a grand jury to hear evidence in the case. It was a move they later would regret.

On Friday, October 3, 1980, a four-man, three-woman Wapello County Grand Jury failed to return an indictment against Pierce. He was released from custody and Helen Morrow’s case remains unsolved.

Eugene Martin

Eugene Martin disappeared August 12, 1984, while out delivering newspapers.

August 12, 1984 — Eugene Martin

Eugene Martin got an early start at 5 a.m. to deliver the Des Moines Register newspaper on his regular paper route. His older brother normally accompanied him, but on this day Eugene went alone; the Iowa State Fair was in town, and Eugene wanted to earn some extra money to spend at the fair.

Sometime between 5 and 5:45 a.m., residents living near Southwest 12th Street and Highview Drive observed Gene speaking to a clean-cut white male in his 30s. The teen folded papers as he spoke to the man, and the witnesses said the conversation appeared friendly — almost like a “father-son” sort of conversation.

Less than an hour later, sometime between 6:10 and 6:15, the boy’s newspaper bag was found on the ground outside Des Moines — 10 folded papers still inside.

Authorities issued a nationwide bulletin for a man described as between 30 and 40 years old, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, clean shaven and with a medium build. Federal agents wondered if Eugene’s disappearance might be connected to that of missing Register paperboy Johnny Gosch, 12, who’d gone missing two years earlier on September 5, 1982.

Eugene Martin's aunt, Jeannie McDowell

In July 2010, Eugene Martin’s aunt, Jeannie McDowell, told WHO-TV’s Aaron Brilbeck she believed her dying brother, Eugene’s father, Don Martin, still clung to life with hopes of learning news about his son before he passed. Don Martin died two days after Christmas that same year.

Eugene Martin’s aunt, Jeannie McDowell, told WHO-TV’s Aaron Brilbeck in a July 2010 Iowa Cold Cases segment that she believed her dying brother — Eugene’s father Don Martin, in the final stages of Alzheimer’s Disease and also suffering from cancer — was hanging on and needed some type of closure in his son’s disappearance before he could let himself go. Gene’s mother, Janice, had recently died from diabetes without ever knowing what happened to her child.

Don continued to read and clip from daily papers every article or reference he could find about Eugene, McDowell said.

But like his wife, Don Martin died still waiting for answers; he passed away on December 27, 2010.

Many Iowans believe both Johnny Gosch and Eugene Martin were kidnapped and sold into a pedophile sex ring, though nothing has ever been proven to support the theory.

Martin’s remaining family members — like Johnny Gosch’s mother Noreen — continue to wait and hope for the one strong lead that breaks open the case and provides long-awaited answers and justice.

Anyone with information regarding Dennis Clougherty’s unsolved murder is asked to contact the Cedar Falls Police Department at (319) 273-8612.

Information concerning Helen Morrow’s unsolved murder should be directed to the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office at (641) 684-4350.

Tips on the Eugene Martin case may be submitted to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010.

Jay and Jaymie GrahlmanCourtesy photo Shannon Salmons
Jay Grahlman with daughter Jaymie

I always know this day is coming long before it arrives. With a list of unsolved cases now at 615, one would think it would be difficult to keep them all straight. With some — where few details are available — the answer would be yes. But with others — the ones where I’ve had the opportunity to review autopsy reports and other documentation and even gotten to know the victim’s family members — I not only know the cases intimately, but feel the unsettled rustling deep down inside as an anniversary date approaches.

Jaymie GrahlmanCourtesy photo Shannon Salmons
Jaymie Grahlman

The Jay and Jaymie Grahlman double homicide is one such case.

On a day like today — the 9th anniversary since the arson fire in their home that would claim both their lives — my mind plays out different scenarios in my head: What Shannon Salmons (Jaymie’s mother) might be doing at this very moment … is she looking through photo albums? Putting flowers on Jaymie’s grave? Writing in a journal or somewhere else about how another year has passed with no answers?

And what about Steve and Lori Salmons, Shannon’s brother and sister-in-law, who sat at Jaymie’s hospital bedside until Shannon arrived and hospital personnel eventually turned off the life support once they’d had the chance to say their final goodbyes? Or what about Duane Grahlman, who’d spent that last day with his brother Jay, barbecuing outside despite the chilly weather?

Courtesy photo Shannon Salmons
Jay Grahlman with his children Leanna and Boseck (back row) and in front, Ida Mae and Jaymie.

This case is one of the tough ones. There are still more questions than answers when it comes down to who started the fire. Or how Jaymie ended up lying in the bathtub in a supine position, stretched out full length, as if simply taking a nap. Or why the burns were confined solely to the front of her six-year-old body. And why were there no burns on her feet? Why no singeing to her beautiful long brown hair?

This case did not end when neighbor Brian Zirtzman — charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson — was acquitted on all three charges. The double homicide remains an open case — one that continues to baffle authorities, who still aren’t convinced Zirtzman started the fire. Like nearly all arson cases where a body is discovered after the fire, this one also has the presupposition that the fire was set to cover up another more heinous crime.

This case is far from over.

Answers will be exhumed from the smoke and mirrors that once reflected and furthered fiery lies. This time, though, when the flames wane and weaken to all but crackling cinders, truth will find a backdraft and burst forth justice in a mighty blaze.

Bill and Kay Wood

On October 10, 2011, in , by Jody Ewing
Bill and Kay Wood Courtesy photo KCCI Channel 8 Des Moines
Bill and Kaidena Wood, married just three years.

Bill and Kay Wood

Homicide and Missing Person Case

James William “Bill” Wood, 79 (Homicide)

Kaidena “Kay” Lozelle Wood, 72 (Missing)
Missing From: 2698 Highway R-63
Norwalk, IA
Warren County
Height: 5’02”
Weight: 128 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Sex: Female
Hair: Gray or Partially Gray
Scars/Marks: Vertical abdominal scar
Prosthetics: Hearing aids in both ears
Case Number: 2011-044536
NamUs MP # 11855
Incident Type: Involuntary disappearance
Missing Since: July 30, 2011

Case Summary compiled by Jody Ewing

Late on Saturday, July 30, 2011, the home of Bill and Kay Wood of rural Norwalk, Iowa, was destroyed by fire. Around midnight and into early Sunday morning, five fire departments responded to 2698 Highway R-63 in Greenfield Township just south of Des Moines’ city limits and the Des Moines International Airport.

The fire extinguished, the couple were nowhere to be found. They’d last been seen midmorning Saturday at an auction house in Stuart, Iowa. An auction flyer depicted a number of pricey items — everything from old guns and diamonds to Indian artifacts and fancy furniture.

Courtesy photo KCCI Des Moines
The Wood’s red Chevy pickup turned up at a Kansas City, Mo. apartment complex the day after the fire.

On Sunday, July 31, 2011, Bill and Kay’s red Chevrolet Silverado pickup turned up at a ritzy apartment complex in Kansas City, Missouri. Witnesses told detectives they’d seen the man with the pickup, and described him as being in his late 40s to early 60s with a slender build, short gray and white hair, and between 6 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 6 inches tall.

That same day, officials discovered a body amongst the charred remains of the couple’s home.

DCI agents began going door to door to question neighbors Monday morning, August 1, 2011, and Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Michael Motsinger announced Monday afternoon that the body found was burned too badly to be identified during an autopsy conducted that afternoon.

DNA testing would be done to see if the body was that of Bill or Kay Wood.

Motsinger also said the fire had been termed suspicious, something the community already suspected.

Two hundred miles south, authorities sought out the “person of interest” seen at the Kansas City apartment building. Bill and Kay’s relatives and a number of volunteers spent days searching the area surrounding the Wood’s home.

Young at Heart and In Love

Prior to their marriage, Bill and Kay had both been widowed. They’d just celebrated their third wedding anniversary July 14 — only 16 days before they vanished.

Family members described them as deeply in love, often holding hands like teenagers.

Warren County
Warren County in Iowa 

Norwalk in Warren County

They’d chosen to live in Bill’s home in rural Norwalk south of Des Moines, which quickly filled up with mementoes of each of their lives. Kay — who’d worked at Dahl’s grocery store on Fleur Drive — collected china dolls. Bill, a retired ironworker currently employed with J.W. Perry, Inc. in Des Moines, kept a 1940s gas pump in the front yard and also had a Model A Ford he drove in parades.

J.W. Perry General Manager Andrew Knott told KCCI that Wood’s co-workers were “somber,” and said the fact that Wood was about to turn 80 told a lot about him. “The fact that he’s still working at his age,” Knott said.

Co-workers had planned a surprise 80th birthday party for Bill, scheduled for the following weekend. Bill would have turned 80 years old August 5.

Devastating News

On Friday, August 19, 2011, the Iowa Department of Public Safety announced in a press release that the body found in the home had been positively identified as that of Bill Wood.

Autopsy reports showed Wood died of multiple gunshot wounds, though he was not shot in the head as an initial press release stated.

When DCI agents informed family members of their findings that Friday morning, Bill Wood’s brother Henry Wood told KCCI that everyone broke down.

“It’s one thing to think it, but it’s another when somebody comes out and says this is what happened,” Bill Wood said. Wood said it also hurt to hear his brother died in such a violent way.

“It really hurt to think, you know, somebody shot my brother,” he said in the KCCI interview. “Now we know that he was shot, I guess we find some comfort in that that would be better than burning. We hope it was quick. We hope it was painless.”

Kay Wood (Courtesy Iowa Dept. of Public Safety)

Kay Wood (Courtesy Iowa Dept. of Public Safety)

Wood said the family would never have closure until Kay was found.

In his comments to the press, DCI Agent Motsinger said officers working the investigation were continuing their efforts to locate her.

“We remain hopeful a suspect will be found and encourage anyone with information to contact DCI or the Warren County Sheriff’s Office,” Motsinger said.

Kay’s daughter Patty Shaw expressed the family’s lost hope after the DCI announced the findings.

“I think in our hearts we were hoping they were together just because you want that,” said Shaw. “If they’re going to go, you want them to be together.”

“He liked nice stuff”

Three weeks after the fire, why questions continued to plague the couple’s family. They explored possible scenarios related to the Stuart auction.

“I think there is a really big chance that something happened in Stuart,” Henry Wood told KCCI in a story that aired Aug. 22. “Bill probably has some antiques that are very rare. He liked nice stuff. He probably had expensive stuff. If he found something he wanted, he bought it.”

Courtesy photo DCI / KCCI Des Moines
Witnesses told detectives they’d seen a man with the Wood’s pickup, and described him as being in his late 40s to early 60s with a slender build, short gray and white hair.

The family wondered if Bill and Kay’s love for expensive antiques somehow may have contributed to Bill’s death and Kay’s disappearance.

“Just somebody there that may have seen that they bought something expensive or they could’ve even been talking to somebody and mentioned what they have,” Bill Wood’s sister, Carolyn Harkin, told KCCI. “It has to be a robbery of some sort.”

Family members went to the Stuart City Hall where they posted sketches of the man police said was seen walking away from the Wood’s pick-up in Kansas City. The Iowa DCI still didn’t know the man’s identity.

A month dragged on with many unanswered questions.

Maintaining hope

The couple’s families told KCCI on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011 that they’re doing what they can to not get caught up in the rumors surrounding the case.

“We have to continue to be focused and as composed as we possibly can be so we can hear everything that’s happening, see everything that’s happening…so that if someone does call we don’t get caught up in that call,” said Kay’s daughter, Lisa Harris.

Harris said she and her siblings are determined to find their mother and bring her home, regardless of whether it is to get her medical attention or to give her a proper burial.

They wait.

Reward Offered

On Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, the Wood’s families held a press conference announcing a reward fund they’d established. They hope a reward might motivate someone to come forward with information. The fund consists of both cash donations and pledges payable upon conviction.

If you would like to donate, visit

Information Needed

Anyone with information concerning Bill Wood’s unsolved homicide or Kaidena Wood’s disappearance is asked to call Deputy Brian Voss at the Warren County Sheriff’s Office (investigating agency) at (515) 961-1122, or Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Chris Thomas at (641) 342-6263.



Copyright © 2015 Iowa Cold Cases, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Sherrie and Victoria Martin

On February 25, 2011, in , by Jody Ewing
Dubuque County in Iowa

Dubuque County

Sherrie Lee Martin and Victoria Lynne Martin

Double Homicide

Sherrie Lee Martin, 8 YOA
Victoria Lynne Martin, 4 YOA
DCI Case # 65-00461
Dubuque, IA
Dubuque County
March 6, 1965

Case Summary compiled by Jody Ewing

Sisters Sherrie Lee Martin, 8, and Victoria Lynne Martin, 4, were killed in an early morning fire on Saturday, March 6, 1965, when someone set fire to the family’s Dubuque, Iowa two-story frame house.

The girls’ mother, Janet, escaped from the burning home about 3:30 a.m. but said she was unable to save her daughters. The girls were asleep on the home’s second floor when the fire broke out.

The house did not have a telephone, and a Muscatine Journal article dated Saturday, March 6, 1965 said Mrs. Martin ran to a neighbor’s home to call firemen.

The girls’ black cat managed to safely escape the blaze.

Janet’s husband, Donald C. Martin, a former National Guardsman and Marine Corps corporal employed by the United States Postal Service, also had a second job and worked the second shift. After the fire, both he and his wife were admitted to the hospital for shock.

Firemen said the blaze apparently started in the kitchen, and initial reports stated the fire may have been caused by faulty electric wiring.

sherrie-and-victoria-martin-gravestoneCourtesy photo Cheryl Buelow,
Sherrie and Victoria Martin were buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Dubuque County next to their younger sister, Deborah.

After the couple buried the girls, witnesses came forward and said they’d seen a gas can sitting on the home’s stoop earlier the day of the fire.

Donald learned Janet had been having an affair with a man who bagged groceries at a local supermarket. She’d allegedly placed the gas can on the stoop so her boyfriend could easily set the fire.

Martin requested his daughters’ bodies be exhumed to prove his estranged wife had provided the accelerant that led to their deaths. Further investigation determined the fire had indeed been deliberately set and ruled it arson. Both girls’ deaths were then ruled homicides.

A grieving military veteran and father was about to embark on his longest traveled journey.

A Lifelong Quest for Truth and Justice

Six years before his two young daughters perished in the Dubuque fire, Donald Martin had experienced the painful loss of yet another child.

On Dec. 8, 1958, his 3-month-old daughter, Deborah Ann, suddenly died, and officials attributed the unexplained death to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also known as “crib death.” At the time, Martin had no reason to suspect his wife may have been involved in the child’s untimely death.

After his second and third young daughter died in a fiery blaze and he learned of his wife’s possible involvement in their deaths, he began piecing together the razor-sharp shards in a shattered and nightmarish puzzle.

Janet had left town with her boyfriend shortly after the fire.

Sherrie and Victoria were not supposed to be in the home that night; Janet allegedly had meant for the fire to claim only her husband’s life.

With new autopsy reports confirming his worst suspicions, he immediately filed for divorce, citing undue cruelty, inhumane treatment and abandonment. He clung to the only remaining lifeline he had to the girls — the furry black cat his daughters had deeply loved.

Donald Martin continually published public notices of the divorce petition in the Telegraph Herald, while his attorney tracked Janet’s movements from state to state in attempts to serve her with the divorce papers.

Meanwhile, Mr. Martin purchased the cemetery plot next to the girls he called his “angels.”

An out-of-state attorney finally responded in Janet Martin’s behalf, though Janet refused to return to Iowa for the proceedings. She did not object to her husband’s filing for ownership of property that included all household belongings.

She wanted only one thing.

The cat.

The distraught father clung fiercely to the animal, which the court eventually awarded to him.

After months of legal correspondence and published notifications, the court finally granted Donald Martin his divorce from Janet.

Daughters’ deaths haunt broken man

Back when serving with the Marines in California, Donald Martin caught both respiratory and kidney infections. Diagnosed with chronic nephritis, he’d had the option of staying on desk duty with no active report or returning home to his family. He knew Janet was struggling with the girls, so chose to return home where he could better help his family.

A broken man after Sherrie and Vicky’s deaths, Donald never expected to marry again or have any more children. He eventually met a young woman named Carol Boulting, however, and the two fell in love. They married on April 10, 1976, and went on to have two daughters, Lisa and Jody.

Martin focused a great deal on their safety, both inside and outside the home.

“One of his first priorities was building a fire escape with Redwood decking. When the wood aged, he immediately had the fire escape replaced with new decking,” his daughter Lisa told Iowa Cold Cases.

Donald Martin (courtesy Dubuque Telegraph Herald)Courtesy Dubuque Telegraph Herald
Donald C. Martin

“We were never allowed to use candles, indoor heaters, not even allowed to have a fire in the back yard as teenagers growing up with our friends,” Lisa said.

Each year, on the anniversary of his lost daughters’ deaths and birthdays, Martin would withdraw into a shell and remain silent throughout the week. He regularly attended to and took care of the girls’ family gravestone.

Donald Martin spent 40 years working for the postal service. He died on his 70th birthday, Feb. 24, 2009, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was buried next to his daughters at Mount Olivet Cemetery with military rites accorded by the Dubuque Marine Corps League.

Carrying on a family tradition

For Donald’s wake and funeral, his wife and daughters constructed large poster boards filled with pictures of him and his younger, lost girls.

donald-martin-gravestoneCourtesy photo
Donald and Carol Martin were buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Dubuque County.

Following his death, his wife Carol and the couple’s two daughters tended to both his gravesite and that of his first three girls.

When Carol passed away May 22, 2012, Lisa and Jody lovingly took over attending the burial plots where their parents and half-sisters lay.

Lisa said she and Jody are looking into erecting an honorary memory bench or planting a tree in honor of all three girls. The two remaining sisters hang onto hope of seeing justice served in a case never solved in their father’s or mother’s lifetimes.

Iowa DCI makes case a priority

When the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Sherrie and Victoria’s murders were two of approximately 150 unsolved Iowa cases the new Cold Case Unit hoped to solve using latest advancements in DNA forensic 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.

About Sherrie and Victoria Martin

Sherrie Lee Martin was born November 11, 1956 and died March 6, 1965.

Victoria Lynne Martin was born November 29, 1960 and died March 6, 1965.

The girls’ remains were laid to rest at Key West in Dubuque County’s Mount Olivet Cemetery. Their father and stepmother lie next to them.

Lisa and Jody remain committed to seeing justice served in their sisters’ unsolved murders.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Sherrie and Victoria Martin’s unsolved murders, please contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (563) 582-6888 or contact the Dubuque Police Department at (563) 589-4410.


Lloyd Patrick

On February 23, 2011, in , by Jody Ewing

Mahaska County in Iowa

Lloyd John Patrick


Lloyd John Patrick
85 YOA
DCI Case # 82-05758
Rural Route
Oskaloosa, IA
Mahaska County
October 27, 1982

On October 27, 1982, Lloyd John Patrick’s body was found in his house after a fire consumed his rural Oskaloosa home. According to a 2009 report by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) former Cold Case Unit, an autopsy revealed Patrick died from gunshot wounds and not injuries sustained during the fire.

When the DCI established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Lloyd Patrick’s murder 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 resolving 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.

About Lloyd Patrick

Lloyd John Patrick was born June 17, 1897, in Mahaska County, Iowa, to Norman Patrick and Elizabeth Visser.

He married Jeannette (aka Jeanette) Esther Denburger on October 15, 1924. They had at least one child, Betty Francine Patrick.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Lloyd Patrick’s unsolved murder please contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010 or e-mail