Cold Cases in the News — 2012 Archives
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Mourners honor slain Iowa girl’s short life
December 29, 2012 | USA Today
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — In Lyric Cook-Morrissey’s family, goodbyes always end with a hug, a kiss and an “I love you,” relatives say.
On Saturday afternoon, loved ones, friends and neighbors said goodbye for the final time to a girl who loved singing with her cousins, swimming with her mom and having sleepovers with her friends from school.
Mourners honor Lyric Cook-Morrissey’s short life
December 29, 2012 | The Des Moines Register
CEDAR FALLS, IA. — In Lyric Cook-Morrissey’s family, goodbyes always end with a hug, a kiss and an “I love you,” relatives say.
On Saturday afternoon, loved ones, friends and neighbors said goodbye for the final time to a girl who loved singing with her cousins, swimming with her mom and having sleepovers with her friends from school.
Dozens of people streamed in and out of the Heartland Vineyard Church in Cedar Falls, past trees bearing pink ribbons that have become commonplace following the July 13 disappearance of Lyric and her cousin Elizabeth Collins from the nearby Black Hawk County town of Evansdale. Family members requested that reporters not attend the service.
3 North Iowa cold cases wait for answers
December 29, 2012 | The Globe Gazette
A Mason City infant died of smoke inhalation in an alleged arson fire 20 years ago.
An 80-year-old Mason City man was found shot to death 35 years ago in the basement of his South Hampshire Avenue home with a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.
Worth County authorities are unsure whether the December 1997 death of a Northwood man was a hunting accident or a homicide.
REWARD FUND: Making Bracelets To Remember Lyric and Elizabeth
December 28, 2012 | WHO-TV Channel 13 Des Moines
Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers continues to get tips in the investigation into the disappearance and deaths of Evansdale cousins Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins. The Crime Stoppers reward fund has now surpassed $20,000. Two young Waterloo girls are among reward fund donors hoping to make a difference.
Taylor Stefancik and Breann Minikus are becoming pros at braiding and twisting friendship bracelets. Over the past several weeks, the cousins have made more than a hundred of them. All this bracelet making started because these two young girls, ages 10 and 11, wanted to do something for missing Evansdale cousins Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins.
Additional $20,500 offered in missing cousins case
December 21, 2012 | KCCI Channel 8 Des Moines
A new reward fund has been established to help police arrest the killer of two eastern Iowa cousins whose bodies were found early this month. A fund drive has raised $20,500 and is available when someone is arrested in the killings of Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook. Typically such funds are not paid out until there’s a conviction.
Black Hawk County Sheriff Capt. Rick Abben says in a statement released Friday that officials believe someone has helpful information.
A separate $150,000 reward is offered through law enforcement officials and a private donor for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Elizabeth Collins, Lyric Cook-Morrissey Update: Mother of dead girl, 8, says police are eyeing specific people
December 18, 2012 | CBS News
(CBS) EVANSDALE, Iowa – Nearly two weeks after missing Iowa cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey were found dead, police say they have made no arrests and have taken no persons of interest into custody in the case.
PICTURES: Bodies of missing Iowa cousins identified
But Heather Collins, the mother of Elizabeth, told CBS affiliate KCCI that police are looking at specific people.
Blackhawk County Chief Deputy Rick Abben didn’t go nearly as far in a phone interview Monday afternoon, according to the station.
Mother wants to leave halfway house to plan funeral
December 18, 2012 | KCCI Channel 8 Des Moines
WATERLOO, Iowa — A judge is refusing to allow the mother of one of two slain Iowa girls out of a halfway house so she can plan her daughter’s funeral.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier newspaper reports U.S. District Judge Linda Reade declined Monday to end Misty Morrissey’s supervised release 45 days early or allow her to live with her mother.
Morrissey is mother of Lyric Cook, who disappeared with cousin Elizabeth Collins in Evansdale in July. The girls were found dead this month by hunters.
Iowa parents of murder, abduction victims want death penalty
December 17, 2012 | KWWL Channel 7
DES MOINES (KWWL) – Gov. Terry Branstad met Monday with families of five abducted or murdered Iowa children who now say they want Iowa to reinstate the death penalty for those crimes.
Families of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins, along with parents of 1982 victim Johnny Gosch, 2005 victim Evelyn Miller, and 2006 victim Donnisha Hill, gathered with Republican Sen. Kent Sorenson in Des Moines to advocate for reinstating Iowa’s death penalty.
Iowa has been without the death penalty for more than 40 years. The state carried out 46 executions before abolishing it in 1965.
Funeral planned for Evansdale cousin Lyric Cook-Morrissey
December 17, 2012 | The Des Moines Register
A funeral service has been planned for the oldest of two missing Evansdale cousins found dead earlier this month by hunters in Bremer County.
A funeral for Lyric Cook-Morrissey, who would now be 11, will be held Dec. 29 from 2 to 5:30 p.m. at the Heartland Vineyard Church in Cedar Falls, church officials have confirmed.
Heartland is working with its sister church, Countryside Vineyard in Evansdale, to put on the service.
Defendant seeks murder charge dismissal
December 14, 2012 | The Clinton Herald
CLINTON — A Clinton County judge is considering a motion to dismiss felony murder charges against a Clinton man in connection with the 2008 death of a Sabula woman.
Andy Cole, 47, of Clinton, was charged in July with murder in the first degree in the death of Alysia Marburger, 27, of Sabula.
The state alleges Cole murdered Marburger while committing sexual abuse, which constitutes a felony murder. However, the defendant argues the bill of particulars and witness testimony in the case do not support the theory that a sexual abuse was committed. Even if the state could prove a sex abuse was committed, Cole’s attorney Bruce Ingham said, the state cannot prove the defendant committed the murder during the abuse.
Parents of murdered and kidnapped children to discuss death penalty with governor
December 13, 2012 | The Des Moines Register
Parents of three missing or murdered Iowa children will meet with Gov. Terry Branstad next week to discuss legislation relating to the death penalty.
Present at the meeting, scheduled for Monday morning at Branstad’s office in the Capitol, will be Noreen Gosch, mother of Johnny Gosch, the West Des Moines paperboy who was kidnapped in 1982; Adonnis Hill, father of Donnisha Hill, who was kidnapped and murdered in Waterloo in 2006; and Drew and Heather Collins, parents of Elizabeth Collins, one of the cousins kidnapped and murdered earlier this year.
Elizabeth Collins’ family focuses on life, not her death
December 13, 2012 | The Des Moines Register
CEDAR FALLS, IA. — Heather Collins hoped Thursday’s celebration of her daughter Elizabeth’s life sent a message to the person who killed the 8-year-old.
Elizabeth “wasn’t just some trash” to be thrown away, Collins said after the hourlong celebration service. “She had a family that loved her very much and are grieving her greatly.”
About 1,500 people packed the auditorium of Heartland Vineyard Church to remember Elizabeth, who along with her cousin Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, disappeared on July 13 while riding their bicycles in nearby Evansdale. The girls’ bodies were found last week in a secluded area of a Bremer County park about 25 miles north of where the girls disappeared.
FINAL GOODBYE: Elizabeth Collins’ Mom Shares Heartbreak
December 11, 2012 | WHO-TV Channel 13 Des Moines
Just days after learning the fate of her missing daughter and niece, Heather Collins speaks out about what she and her family are going through.
“This is just so hard, to know that you will never, ever, ever see your daughter again.” Instead of celebrating the holidays with her daughter, Heather Collins is planning a funeral and saying her final good-byes.
Lyric Cook, Elizabeth Collins dead: Bodies identified as missing Evansdale, Iowa cousins
December 11, 2012 | WPTV Channel 5
Relatives of 10-year-old Lyric Cook and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins got news Monday that no family wants. Authorities identified the bodies found by hunters in a wooded area last week as those of the two young Iowa cousins, missing since July. Their bodies were found in the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area in Bremer County. Chief Kent Smock of the Evansdale, Iowa, Police Department, confirmed the news and said that the girls’ families had been notified, according to a statement from the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office.
Push for ‘Cousins Law’ grows as bodies found
December 10, 2012 | The WCF Courier
EVANSDALE, Iowa — The discovery of two bodies believed to be those of missing cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins on Wednesday has renewed interest in Iowa’s missing persons notification system.
As Gov. Terry Branstad expressed sympathy for families of the girls, he said the state will take a look at what can be done differently when children disappear.
“We’ll review our laws and see if there’s more that we can do to be as effective as possible,” Branstad said, alluding to changes in laws adopted followed the abduction of 12-year-old West Des Moines newspaper carrier Johnny Gosch in 1982.
Autopsies confirm bodies are missing girls
December 10, 2012 | KCCI Channel 8
WATERLOO, Iowa — The Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed to Evansdale police Monday that the two bodies found last Wednesday are Lyric Cook-Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins.
‘Missing Johnny’ Documentary on MSNBC Traces Disappearance of West Des Moines Paper Boy
December 7, 2012 | West Des Moines Patch
Filmmaker David Beilinson shuddered a bit at the timing – first last summer when Evansdale cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins disappeared, and then again Wednesday when their bodies were found by hunters in northeast Iowa.
When the Evansale cousins vanished, Beilinson and his film crew were in Iowa interviewing West Des Moines mom Noreen Gosch for a documentary on her 30-year search for answers about the disappearance of her son, Johnny, who never came home from his morning paper route on Sept. 5, 1982.
The film, “Missing Johnny,” premieres Sunday, Dec. 16, on MSNBC’s Maximum Drama program. It airs at 8 p.m. CST.
EVANSDALE SYMPATHIES: Grandmother Speaks
December 7, 2012 | WHO-TV Channel 13 Des Moines
On the back of the discoveries on Wednesday of the 2 missing Evansdale girls, Lyric and Elizabeth, another Iowa family knows what the two families are going through.
“You know, you have that hope, and now that hope is gone. And I know that’s how they, the Morrissey’s and the Collins’ feel. Hope is gone. There’s closure, but that hope is gone.”
Linda Christie’s granddaughter, Evelyn Miller was kidnapped from her home in 2005. For 5 days, relatives hoped for the best, but then Evelyn’s body was discovered along the Cedar River in Floyd County.
51 years of promoting safety in Fulda Schools
December 6, 2012 | Fulda Free Press
Kim Hiscox, Safety Coordinator with the National Child Safety Council (NCSC), West Des Moines, IA, met with Fulda Schools Superintendent Luther Onken on Thursday morning to present the book Why Johnny Can’t Come Home to the schools.
Why Johnny Can’t Come Home is the story of Johnny Gosch who was forcibly abducted in 1982 from his Iowa home and family. It is also the true story of a mother’s love that would reach out wherever she could in the desperate search to find her son.
MISSING GIRLS: Officials Confident About Identities
December 6, 2012 | WHO-TV Channel 13 Des Moines
Officials say they are confident the bodies found Wednesday in a wooded area in Bremer County are those of missing cousins Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins.
Chief Deputy Rick Abben with the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office said at a Thursday news conference that though a positive forensic identification has not been made by the State Medical Examiner’s Office, evidence found on the scene where the bodies were found makes them confident the bodies belong to the missing girls.
Abben says there were no other missing persons cases and the remains found were of a smaller stature.
Branstad calls missing cousins case ‘a tragic situation’
December 6, 2012 | The Quad-City Times
DES MOINES — Gov. Terry Branstad said Thursday his “heart goes out” to the families of two missing Evansdale girls.
He also pledged to re-evaluate state laws and procedures designed to protect children’s safety in hopes of improving law officers’ ability to respond quickly and enlisting the public’s help more efficiently and effectively when someone is missing and possibly abducted.
MISSING GIRLS: Hunters Find Two Bodies
December 5, 2012 | WHO-TV Channel 13 Des Moines
Officials called a news conference Wednesday afternoon to release information in the case of two eastern Iowa cousins who have been missing since July.
Officials say hunters contacted them after locating two bodies in a wooded area around 12:45 p.m. Wednesday. The bodies are believed to be of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins but a positive identification has not been made.
The location of where the bodies were found has not been released. However, on Wednesday night, police and state investigators converged on Seven Bridges Park in Bremer County, 20-miles from Meyers Lake in Evansdale.
That’s where 9-year old Elizabeth Collins and 10-year old Lyric Cook’s abandoned bicycles were found on July 13th.
Missing Girls: Hunters report finding 2 bodies
December 5, 2012 | KCCI Channel 8 Des Moines
EVANSDALE, IA — Law enforcement officials in Evansdale will not confirm that the bodies found Wednesday are those of two missing girls, but from all appearances, law officers were unhappy at news of the discovery.
Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Capt. Rick Abben said that about 12:45 p.m. hunters reported finding two bodies in a wooded area.
Nine-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 11-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey disappeared while riding bikes in Evansdale on July 13th. Authorities have felt all along the girls were abducted. Their bikes were found on the trail around Meyers Lake in Evansdale.
2 bodies found in N.E. Iowa, 5 months after young cousins vanished: Lyric Cook-Morrissey, Elizabeth Collins may be found, authorities say
December 5, 2012 | The Des Moines Register
EVANSDALE, IA. — Authorities spearheading the search for two girls missing since July announced that hunters had discovered two bodies in a wooded area Wednesday.
Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Capt. Rick Abben did not definitively say the bodies were those of cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins, pending identification by the state medical examiner’s office.
But he said the girls’ families had been notified of the discovery and that “it’s definitely not the outcome that we wanted, obviously.”
Evansdale family’s Christmas tree honors Lyric, Elizabeth
December 4, 2012 | KWWL Channel 7
EVANSDALE (KWWL) – Every Christmas, the Marvets deck their lawn with festive decorations. This year, there’s a new addition to the display — and one that holds a great deal of meaning for those still searching for two missing cousins.
Tammy Marvets and her husband live across the street from the Evansdale Community Response Center — ground zero during the initial search for Lyric Cook, 11, and Elizabeth Collins, 9, who disappeared more than four months ago.
“My husband came up with the idea one day,” Tammy Marvets explained. “He went out and got a tree and thought it would be nice if the community could share their ornaments with the girls.”
UPDATE: Skeletal Remains Identified as Mark Koster
November 21, 2012 | KCAU Channel 9 Eyewitness News, Sioux City
On November 5, 2012, the Sac City Police Department investigated skeletal remains that were found buried in a basement during a renovation at 610 N 5th Street in Sac City. The skeletal remains were sent to the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy and possible identification.
The remains were identified through dental records as those of Mark Koster. Additional autopsy results could take 6 to 8 weeks or longer, due to the condition of the body.
Arraignment cancelled for suspect in girl’s death
November 20, 2012 | Muscatine Journal
An arraignment hearing set for the man charged with killing a 5-year-old northern Iowa girl in 2005 has been cancelled for a second time.
A court official in Floyd County said a hearing scheduled for Monday for Casey Frederiksen wasn’t held. The official offered no immediate explanation.
MURDER CASE: Frederiksen Hearing Monday
November 19, 2012 | WHO-TV Channel 13 Des Moines
The man charged with sexually abusing and killing five-year-old Evelyn Miller is expected to enter a plea Monday.
In September, prosecutors charged Casey Frederiksen in the 2005 case. He was the boyfriend of Evelyn’s mother at the time and was living in the same Floyd apartment.
MISSING GIRLS: New Fundraising Effort
November 19, 2012 | WHO-TV Channel 13 Des Moines
A new push to raise a reward in the effort to find two missing Iowa girls begins Monday. Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook disappeared on July 13th. Police say the cousins were last seen riding their bikes near Meyers Lake in Evansdale.
The FBI believes the girls were abducted.
The girls’ families and the Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers are trying to get new leads in the case. Starting Monday, they will launch a month-long fundraiser to increase the reward for information that leads to the missing girls. The fundraiser will end December 19th.
You can send donations to P.O. Box 1520 in Waterloo, ZIP code 50704.
Man arrested at metro motel in 1974 murder case
November 15, 2012 | KCCI Channel 8 Des Moines
OTTUMWA, Iowa — A Des Moines man charged in connection with the 1974 killing of a 17-year-old girl in rural Wapello County pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday. The Department of Criminal Investigation announced Tuesday night that Robert Pilcher, 66, was charged in connection with the killing of Mary Jayne Jones, of Ottumwa.
Wapello County sheriff’s deputies and DCI agents arrested Pilcher at a Des Moines motel this week.
Jones’ body was discovered April 9, 1974, in a farmhouse owned by Pilcher’s cousin who was out of town at the time, police said. She had been shot to death and sexually assaulted.
COLD CASE: Man Arrested in 38-Year-Old Murder
November 14, 2012 | WHO-TV Channel 13 Des Moines
Nearly four decades after an Ottumwa teen was found shot to death, police have made an arrest in the case.
The Department of Criminal Investigation says updated technology helped investigators link the alleged crime to a Des Moines man.
Man arrested for sexually assaulting and killing teenage girl 38 years ago after advances in DNA testing help crack the cold case
November 14, 2012 | Mail Online
Police in Iowa can finally put a cold murder case to rest 38 years after a teenage girl was sexually assaulted and shot to death in a rural farmhouse.
Robert Eugene Pilcher, 66, was caught using DNA samples collected by from his long list of crimes that he was arrested for since 1974.
He is accused of sexually assaulting 17-year-old Mary Jayne Jones and shooting her in the head and chest before leaving her body in his cousin’s farmhouse in Wapello County.
Arrest Made in 1974 Southeast Iowa Homicide Investigation
November 13, 2012 | Iowa Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Investigation
Ottumwa, IOWA — Today, law enforcement arrested 66-year-old ROBERT EUGENE PILCHER of Des Moines, Iowa in connection with the 1974 homicide of 17-year-old MARY JAYNE JONES of Ottumwa. PILCHER was arrested by Wapello County Sheriff’s deputies and agents of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) today at the A-1 Motel, 5500 SE 14th Street in Des Moines, Iowa.
Suspect arrested in 38-year-old murder case
November 13, 2012 | KTVO Channel 3, CBS News
OTTUMWA, IOWA — The following is a press release issued Tuesday evening by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation:
On Tuesday, law enforcement arrested Robert Eugene Pilcher, 66, of Des Moines, Iowa in connection with the 1974 homicide of 17-year-old Mary Jayne Jones of Ottumwa.
Pilcher was arrested by Wapello County Sheriff’s deputies and agents of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Tuesday at the A-1 Motel in Des Moines.
COURT COMPLAINT: Mom of Missing Girl Must Appear
November 12, 2012 | WHO-TV Channel 13 Des Moines
The mother of one of the missing eastern Iowa cousins is being order to appear in federal court.
U.S. District Judge Linda Reade has ordered Misty Morrissey to appear in her courtroom in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday. Morrissey will face a complaint alleging she violated the terms of her supervised release in a decade-old methamphetamine case.
The hearing will come the day after the four month anniversary of the disappearance of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins.
Can roommate provide clues in basement bones case?
November 9, 2012 | KCCI Channel 8 Des Moines
SAC CITY, Iowa — Police are looking for a roommate of a man who went missing in 2009 and this week was found dead in his own basement.
Sac City police have confirmed that the remains found in a basement are those of 58-year-old Mark Koster. Police are now hoping to find a man who was living with Koster months before he went missing.
Remains of Mark Koster, Missing Iowa Man, Found in Previous Home’s Basement (VIDEO)
November 9, 2012 | The Huffington Post
Mark Koster was last seen at his home in Sac City, Iowa, in July of 2009.
Soon after, neighbors told KTIV, he and an unknown man he’d been living with disappeared, saying they were going on a trip. “They were just gone,” Koster’s next door neighbor Sandra Dierenfeld told the station. “They left a note saying they were going to Florida, they’d see me in the spring, please take care of the property.”
But when the spring of 2010 rolled around, Koster didn’t come with it. He was listed as a missing person later that year after his brother, Daniel Koster, received notices that Mark’s utility bills hadn’t been paid, reports the Daily Mail.
Remains Found In Sac City Home
November 8, 2012 | KMEG Channel 14 Sioux City
SIOUX CITY, IA — A cold case mystery, heads in a new direction. Three years after a Sac County man vanished without a trace.
Mark Koster disappeared in 2009. November 8th, police confirm Koster’s remains were discovered this week in the basement of his own home.
“Well, a little spooky, is all, course Halloween’s over with,” says Sac City Resident, Clifford Weisenborn.
Special Report: Cold Cases
November 8, 2012 | KIMT Channel 3 Mason City
KIMT News 3 — On September 27, seemingly out of the blue, investigators with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation announced charges in what was thought to have been a case grown cold. Casey Frederiksen is now charged with first degree murder in the 2005 death of five-year-old Evelyn Miller.
In that September 27 news conference, investigators said the former fiancee of Evelyn’s mother told them details about the case that had never been released publicly. Eventually, they had enough evidence to formally charge Frederiksen.
It’s cases like this that give families of crime victims hope that investigators are still working on their cases, and that it will someday be solved.
New Attorney for Man Accused of Killing Evelyn Miller
November 6, 2012 | KCRG TV Channel 9 Cedar Rapids
CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) – A man accused of killing an Iowa girl in 2005 is getting a new attorney.
The Globe Gazette says a judge on Monday ordered that Casey Frederiksen be represented by the Waterloo public defender’s office due to a conflict of interest by prior representation of potential witnesses by the Mason City public defender’s office.
Because of the change, Frederiksen’s arrangement is delayed until Nov. 19.
Cold case killer-rapist sentences to life in prison
November 5, 2012 | The Redding Record Searchlight
Described as a “monster” by a daughter of his victim, convicted killer-rapist Brian Eric Norton did not appear to wince as he was sentenced Monday to life in prison without parole for a 21-year-old murder.
“If it was up to me, he would be sentenced to death,” said a daughter of Despina Magioudis, whose beaten and strangled body was found in a Redding field in 1991.
Frederiksen Seeks New Lawyer
November 5, 2012 | KIMT TV 3 Mason City
Charles City, Iowa – A former North Iowan accused of murdering five year-old Evelyn Miller is asking for a new attorney. Casey Frederiksen is charged with murder and sexual abuse in the 2005 killing.
In court today, he asked the judge to approve a new public defender, because the Mason City office is working with several potential witnesses in the case. Fredriksen asked the judge to consider his life along with the request.
Enable fight against child porn
November 3, 2012 | The Gazette
Child trafficking is America’s fastest growing crime, expanding 150 percent per year. A criminal can earn $1,000 per night, tax free, molesting a child in front of a live webcam. Child porn films are major money makers. The child porn industry is estimated to yield profits as high as $20 billion per year and is rapidly overtaking drugs as the preferred moneymaker by organized crime syndicates. Children are being trafficked in staggering numbers for use in America’s child porn industry.
Court action Monday in Frederiksen murder case
November 2, 2012 | WCF Courier
CHARLES CITY, Iowa — A hearing about issues arising from prior representation of Casey Frederiksen by the Office of the Public Defender will be held at 1 p.m. Monday before Frederiksen’s arraignment for first-degree murder.
Frederiksen is charged in the murder of 5-year-old Evelyn Miller on July 1, 2005. He also faces a charge of first-degree sexual abuse.
Court action set in Evelyn Miller murder case
October 25, 2012 | WCF Courier
CHARLES CITY, Iowa — The arraignment has been set for the man accused of killing a 5-year-old Floyd girl in 2005. Casey Frederiksen, 33, is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, in Floyd County District Court in Charles City.
Frederiksen is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse in the July 1, 2005, death of Evelyn Miller, 5, Floyd. Floyd County Attorney Normand Klemesrud filed trial information Wednesday listing the two charges against Frederiksen.
Hearing Set for Man Charged in Evelyn Miller Case
October 25, 2012 | KCRG Channel 9, ABC News
CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) — A court hearing is set for a man accused of sexually assaulting and killing an Iowa girl in 2005.
The Globe Gazette in Mason City says Casey Frederiksen will be arraigned on Nov. 5 in Floyd County District Court in Charles City. He’s charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse in the death of Evelyn Miller.
She vanished from her family’s apartment in Floyd on July 1, 2005. At the time, Frederiksen was the boyfriend of Evelyn’s mother, Noel Miller, and living with them. The girl’s body was found days later on the banks of the Cedar River.
Court action set in Evelyn Miller murder case
October 25, 2012 | The Globe-Gazette
CHARLES CITY — The arraignment has been set for the man accused of killing a 5-year-old Floyd girl in 2005.
Casey Frederiksen, 33, is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, in Floyd County District Court in Charles City.
Frederiksen is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse in the July 1, 2005, death of Evelyn Miller, 5, Floyd.
Teacher’s Aide Fired for Revelation of Role in Grisly 1965 Killing
October 24, 2012 | ABC News
An Iowa teacher’s aide has been fired from her job following the revelation that she was a member of an Indiana family notorious for torturing and killing a girl in their basement in 1965.
“A week ago today we got an anonymous report that the now Paula Pace was the previous Paula Baniszewski involved in this 1965 murder case in Indiana and it was a real attention-seeker out there, a heinous crime,” Grundy County Sheriff Rick Penning told ABCNews.com today.
Paula Baniszewski was 17 years old in the summer of 1965 when a 16-year-old girl names Sylvia Likens and her sister came to stay with Baniszewski’s family. In the months that followed, Likens was beaten, burned, malnourished and branded with a hot needle. Her body was found in the basement of the home in October of that year.
- Courtesy photo Andrea Melendez/The Register
- Noreen Gosch, center, and others gathered recently in West Des Moines where her son Johnny was last seen in 1982.
Gosch: Kids need more protection: Mom shares her story of a missing son as she urges child abuse prevention
Oct. 20, 2012 | The Des Moines Register
Great strides have been made in Iowa and nationally to protect children from kidnappers and other predators, but more needs to be done, Noreen Gosch told more than 100 people Friday at a conference in Des Moines.
Gosch and other advocates shared some sobering facts about child abductions and human trafficking in the U.S. during a daylong Iowa Preventing Child Abuse Conference.
The disappearance of her 12-year-old son Johnny in 1982 captivated the country and Gosch has been working in the 30 years since to improve the response by law enforcement and others once children go missing.
Dad’s message for daughter: ‘I will never stop looking’
October 19, 2012 | KCCI Channel 8 Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa — The parents of a missing Iowa girl talked to KCCI Friday about how they are coping with not knowing where their daughter is. Elizabeth Collins and her cousin, Lyric Cook-Morrissey, disappeared on July 13 in Evansdale. Since then, a nationwide search has been launched for the girls, who authorities said were abducted.
UPDATE: Police re-canvass Evansdale for missing girls
Oct. 18, 2012 | WCF Courier
EVANSDALE, Iowa — Investigators were expected to wrap up a “re-canvassing” of neighborhoods this afternoon in an attempt to garner new information that may help find two girls that went missing from Evansdale.
Cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 11, and Elizabeth Collins, 9, disappeared July 13 while on a bike ride. Their bikes and Elizabeth’s purse and cell phone were found on a recreational trail along Meyers Lake. After an extensive search of homes and wooded areas and a partial draining of the lake over the following week that turned up nothing, authorities declared the case an abduction.
VILLISCA MURDERS: Murder Documentary
October 18, 2012 | WHO TV Channel 13 Des Moines
It’s known as one of Iowa’s most gruesome unsolved murder cases.
Thursday night, the Villisca murders were revisited in Marshalltown.
A family brutally murdered with an axe in Villisca Iowa, the killer was never found.
It happened 100 years ago, but the interest hasn’t faded.
Casey Stringer says, “I think it’s odd they never found who did it and the logistics behind it are interesting.”
Dr. Epperly adds, “I heard about it as a child and grew up 100 miles from where it was.”
Dr. Eppery is more than just interested in this mystery. He has dedicated his life to it. Thursday night, dozens of people not only get to watch the documentary his research contributed to, they get to pick Dr. Epperly’s brain.
Man accused of raping and murdering girlfriend’s daughter 5, makes first court appearance SEVEN YEARS after her body was found dumped on a riverbank
October 17, 2012 | Daily Mail Online
A criminal accused of raping and murdering his girlfriend’s five-year-old daughter seven years ago made his first court appearance yesterday.
Casey Frederiksen, 33, is charged with first-degree murder and first degree sexual abuse in the 2005 slaying of Floyd, Iowa, girl, Evelyn Miller.
During the 10 minute appearance at Floyd District Court, Frederiksen’s bond was set at $1 million on each charge but he wouldn’t be let loose even if he could come up with the money, because he’s currently serving a 14-year sentence on child porn and drug charges.
Evelyn was reported missing on July 1, 2005, by her mother Noel Miller. Frederiksen had been caring for the five-year-old, along with the couple’s two other children, when she disappeared.
The child’s body was found five days later on the banks of the nearby Cedar River, but details of the girl’s death were never released.
Casey Frederiksen back in Iowa facing Evelyn Miller murder charge (video)
October 16, 2012 | KIMT TV Channel 3
MASON CITY, IA — A man charged with the murder and sexual abuse of a 5 year old girl from Floyd had his initial appearance in court today. 33-year-old Casey Frederiksen is officially back in Iowa and is in the custody of the Division of Criminal Investigation. He has been serving time in an Illinois prison for child pornography charges. Frederiksen is being charged with the murder and sexual assault of 5-year-old Evelyn Miller back in 2005.
UPDATE: Casey Frederiksen says he’s received death threats
October 16, 2012 | KWWL Channel 7
FLOYD COUNTY (KWWL) — The man accused of killing 5-year-old Evelyn Miller is now in state custody. Last month, authorities announced murder charges against Casey Frederiksen. Evelyn Miller was left in his custody the last night she was seen alive.
Miller disappeared from her home near Floyd on July 1, 2005. Searchers found her body in the Cedar River about a week later.
On Monday, DCI agents took custody of Frederiksen from the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois.
Frederiksen held on $2M bond in murder of Evelyn Miller, 5
October 16, 2012 | Globe-Gazette
CHARLES CITY — Bond has been set at $2 million for accused murderer Casey Frederiksen. Frederiksen, 33, made his initial appearance in Floyd County District Court on Tuesday in the July 1, 2005, death of Evelyn Miller, 5, Floyd.
He is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse, both Class A felonies. Magistrate Ann Troge set his bond at $1 million cash-only on each count.
Frederiksen was the boyfriend of Evelyn’s mother, Noel Miller.
Iowa judge sets $2M bail for suspect in 2005 murder of Evelyn Miller, 5
October 16, 2012 | Sioux City Journal
CHARLES CITY, Iowa | Bail has been set at $2 million for accused murderer Casey Frederiksen. Frederiksen, 33, made his initial appearance in Floyd County District Court on Tuesday in the July 1, 2005, death of Evelyn Miller, 5, of Floyd.
He is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse, both class A felonies. Magistrate Ann Troge set his bail at $1 million cash only on each count. Frederiksen was the boyfriend of Evelyn’s mother, Noel Miller.
Casey Frederiksen Makes Initial Court Appearance (video)
October 16, 2012 | KCRG TV Channel 9
CHARLES CITY- The man accused of murdering and sexually abusing a five-year-old Floyd County girl in 2005 made a first Iowa court appearance on the new charges Tuesday morning.
Casey Frederiksen, 33, was charged with first degree murder and first degree sexual abuse in the death of Evelyn Miller on September 27th. Iowa authorities took custody of Frederiksen Monday at a federal prison in Marion, Illinois. Frederiksen is currently serving a 14-year sentence on unreleated child porn and drug charges.
Casey Frederiksen returning to Charles City to face murder charges
October 15, 2012 | WCF Courier
CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) — A man charged with killing an Iowa girl in 2005 is now in state custody.
Casey Frederiksen, 33, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse in the death of 5-year-old Evelyn Miller.
State agents took custody of Frederiksen on Monday from a federal penitentiary in Marion, Ill., where he’s serving time on child pornography and drug charges. He’ll make an initial court appearance Tuesday at the Floyd County Courthouse in Charles City.
Parents of missing Evansdale girl to speak at conference
October 15, 2012 | The Globe Gazette
DES MOINES — The parents of Elizabeth Collins will speak at a Des Moines event that wraps child abductions with underground pornography networks and drug cartels.
Drew and Heather Collins of Evansdale are scheduled to appear at the 10th Preventing Abuse Conference at the Embassy Suites on Friday, said Tony Nassif, president of Cedars Cultural and Educational Foundation of Toluca Lake, Calif., who is organizing the conference.
Floyd Community Reacts to Cold Case Charges
October 8, 2012 | KIMT TV, Mason City
FLOYD, Iowa – Twenty-four hours after charges are announced in a seven-year-old north Iowa cold case, a small community is still reacting to the news.
Casey Frederiksen, 33, was charged yesterday with first degree murder and sexual abuse in the death of Evelyn Miller. He was the live-in boyfriend of Evelyn’s mother, Noel.
The little girl was reported missing in July of 2005 and found nearly a week later dead in the Cedar River. Many folks in Floyd say they never though the news would come, but now that it has it’s bringing back a flood of memories.
Villisca murders film coming to Orpheum Oct. 18 — Expert to lead discussion after movie
October 7, 2012 | The Times-Republican
The foremost authority on the 1912 Villisca axe murders will be in Marshalltown leading a discussion on the tragic event following a documentary film screening on the historic unsolved crime.
The Orpheum Theater will screen the film “Villisca: Living with a Mystery” at 7 p.m. Oct. 18. Ed Epperly, an expert on the crime, will appear for a question and answer session following the film.
It’s been 100 years since the murders and the unsolved case still attracts visitors and tourists to the home where eight people were bludgeoned to death with an axe. Epperly has been researching the crime for decades and his work is featured prominently in the film.
Taking the War To the Sex Traffickers: Movement mobilizes church to rescue victims of child-porn industry
October 1, 2012 | WND.com
DES MOINES, Iowa – On Oct. 19, a new army will be recruited to combat the frightening abduction of thousands of children in the U.S. each year, some of whom are subject to sexual abuse and even slavery.
The 10th Preventing Abuse Conference will convene at the Embassy Suites in Des Moines to inform, equip and organize people to be part of the solution to a rampant human trafficking problem made only worse in recent years by child pornography, an increasingly sexualized culture and the spread of drug cartels smuggling children across the border.
Criminal Case in Evelyn Miller’s Slaying Took Years to Develop
September 28, 2012 | KCRG Channel 9
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The mother’s boyfriend was immediately a suspect when a 5-year-old girl was found dead in an Iowa river in 2005, but it took investigators seven years to build a strong enough case to bring charges, authorities said Friday.
Casey Frederiksen was watching Evelyn Miller at the family’s apartment in Floyd when she went missing and he quickly came under suspicion because of odd and troubling behavior. Within hours, he hid with a neighbor a computer hard drive containing a cache of disturbing child pornography involving young girls. He head-butted a wall and screamed at police as they searched the apartment. Volunteers descended from all over to look for the girl, but Frederiksen left with a friend on a trip 150 miles south to Des Moines.
Charges filed in cold case murder of Iowa girl Evelyn Miller: Seven years after the death of Evelyn Miller, 5, her mother’s boyfriend is charged with murder and sexual abuse
September 28, 2012 | The Des Moines Register
FLOYD, IA. — The announcement Thursday that charges had been filed in the murder of 5-year-old Evelyn Miller was bittersweet for a family and a community that have spent seven years wondering who was responsible and waiting for answers.
Filing charges against Casey Frederiksen, the then-live-in boyfriend of Evelyn’s mother, Noel Miller, brings the case one step closer to resolution. But residents and relatives interviewed Thursday were saddened to think someone from this tight-knit area in north-central Iowa could commit such a crime.
“Casey was actually a very close friend of my son’s. We used to drive him to school,” said Richard Christie, whose son Andrew is Evelyn’s father. “It’s a tragedy both ways to see what has transpired.”
Federal inmate charged with killing of Iowa girl
September 28, 2012 | Quad-City Times
FLOYD, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation and Floyd County Sheriff’s Office have charged 33-year-old Casey Frederiksen with the 2005 murder of Evelyn Miller, 5, of Floyd.
Frederiksen is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse, both Class A felonies. He was the boyfriend of Evelyn’s mother, Noel Miller.
NEW DETAILS: Mother’s ex-boyfriend charged with slaying 5-year-old Evelyn Miller
September 28, 2012 | WCF Courier
FLOYD, Iowa — Authorities used slightly more than seven years to collect what they believe will be enough evidence to convict Casey Frederiksen of first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse.
Linda Christie of Waterloo said Thursday she’ll need even more time before being able to pardon her 5-year-old granddaughter’s alleged killer.
“It’s too early to forgive him … I am not in the mood to forgive someone who could do that to an innocent little girl,” Christie said.
Court papers detail evidence against Casey Frederiksen
September 28, 2012 | WCF Courier
FLOYD, Iowa — Casey Frederiksen admitted helping carry Evelyn Miller’s dead body to the river, according to court records. He also told fellow inmates that he had sexually abused the girl since she was small.
Authorities during their investigation of the July 2005 murder of 5-year-old Evelyn, they kept secret the fact the girl died of sharp injuries to her neck and evidence she had been sexually abused. Newly released court records, however, shed light on how the girl died and suggest how authorities pieced the case together.
As the investigation continued, Frederiksen changed his story about what happened in the early morning hours of July 1, 2005, once pointing the finger at an acquaintance, and at other times disclosing information that only someone involved in the slaying would know, according to the criminal complaint and affidavit signed by DCI Agent Chris Callaway.
Evelyn Miller’s family relieved charges finally brought in case
September 27, 2012 | KWWL Channel 7
FLOYD (KWWL) — Thursday, authorities announced Casey Frederiksen faces murder and sexual abuse charges in the 2005 murder of five-year-old Evelyn Miller in Floyd County.
Back in July, KWWL visited with Richard and Linda Christie, Evelyn’s grandparents, at the seven year anniversary of her disappearance. At the time, they felt charges were near–police knew who was responsible and it was just a matter of putting the pieces together. Now, seeing charges finally come to light, there’s a flood of emotions for the family, mostly a sense of relief.
“There’s a flicker of hope but I have to tell you that as each day passes on, that flicker of hope fades,” Linda Christie said.
Casey Frederiksen, Federal Inmate Charged With Killing Evelyn Miller, Iowa Girl
September 27, 2012 | The Huffington Post
IOWA CITY, Iowa — A federal inmate was charged Thursday in the rape and slaying of a 5-year-old northern Iowa girl in 2005, a breakthrough in a case that had long frustrated investigators and relatives.
Casey Frederiksen was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse in the death of Evelyn Miller, whose body was found along the Cedar River.
“What a glorious afternoon it is today,” said Floyd County Sheriff Rick Lynch, thanking residents for patience during the seven-year investigation.
Casey Frederiksen Charged with Murder & Sexual Abuse of Five-Year-Old Evelyn Miller
September 27, 2012 | Iowa Department of Public Safety Division of Criminal Investigation
Charles City, IOWA — Today, agents with the Division of Criminal Investigation and the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office charged 33-year-old Casey Fredericksen in the 2005 death of five-year-old Evelyn Miller. Frederiksen is charged with Murder in the First Degree and Sexual Abuse in the First Degree. Both charges are Class “A” felonies.
Authorities to announce “significant development” in Evelyn Miller murder case
September 27, 2012 | RadioIowa
Update 2 p.m.: The former boyfriend of Evelyn Miller’s mother, 33-year-old Casey Fredricksen, has been charged with the girl’s murder. More details to follow.
Authorities have scheduled a news conference for this afternoon in northeast Iowa to release what they call a “significant development” in the investigation of a seven year old homicide investigation.
Five-year-old Evelyn Miller disappeared from her mother’s apartment near the town of Floyd on July 1, 2005.
CHARGES FILED: Evelyn Miller Murder Case — News Conference Video
September 27, 2012 | WHO-TV Channel 13 Des Moines
A murder charge has been filed in the 2005 death of five-year-old Evelyn Miller.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation held a Thursday afternoon news conference to release information on their investigation. Officials say 33-year-old Casey Frederiksen has been charged with first degree murder and first degree sexual abuse in the case.
Evelyn disappeared from her Floyd home on July 1st, 2005. Her body was found five days later along the Cedar River. Her death was ruled a homicide.
Charges Filed in Evelyn Miller Murder Case: “Justice will be done”
September 27, 2012 | KCRG Tv Channel 9
Includes a number of videos, photo gallery, timeline of events, reaction on Social Media
The Search for Evelyn Miller (photo gallery)
September 27, 2012 | The Iowa City Press-Citizen
Iowa victim, DNA evidence leads to conviction in 21 year California cold case
September 20, 2012 | The Gazette
A prosecutor in California says testimony of an Iowa woman was “powerful” in helping to convict a killer after 21 years.
Brian Eric Norton, 45, of Marion, was convicted of sexually assaulting the Iowa woman in 2009 and was serving a 10-year sentence in the Iowa State Penitentiary when a year later police in California got a DNA hit from the national database connecting him to a August 1991 brutal homicide.
Norton was convicted Sept. 13, in Shasta County District Court, Redding, Calif., of first-degree murder after a three week trial. He raped and strangled to death Despina Magioudis, 53, in August 1991. Norton faces life without parole.
Joliet Police Make Arrest in 2004 Murder Case
September 19, 2012 | Joliet Patch
Murder charges have been filed against a former Joliet man in a case that’s been unsolved for eight years, according to a published report. Durando Eskridge, 29, of Des Moines, Iowa, is charged in the June 26, 2004, death of Herbert R. Brown, who was shot multiple times during an argument in the 1500 block of Englewood Avenue, a story in the Joliet Herald News said.
Neb. State Patrol needs your help to solve “cold case”
September 18, 2012 | KTIV Sioux City
WEST POINT, Neb. (KTIV) — The Nebraska State Patrol is trying to crack a Siouxland homicide case that’s 13-years-old. They say they need your help to put those responsible for this “cold case” behind bars.
August 21st 1999. Inside this West Point, Nebraska home, family found 54-year-old Jeanne Kassebaum dead, face down in the Jacuzzi. Initially, investigators believed it was an accident.
Maine cold case murder trial starts this week
September 17, 2012 | WGME Channel 13 News
SKOWHEGAN, MAINE (AP) — A Maine man arrested last year and charged with killing a woman more than three decades ago is due to go on trial this week in Somerset County Superior Court.
Jury selection is scheduled to begin Thursday in the trial of 56-year-old Jay Mercier of Industry, who has pleaded not guilty to killing 20-year-old Rita St. Peter. Her battered body was found on the roadside in Anson in July 1980. Mercier was tied to the killing through DNA evidence.
Ex-cop convicted in 1957 murder of Sycamore girl Maria Ridulph
Sept. 14, 2012 | AP / Rockford Register Star
SYCAMORE — A 72-year-old man was convicted today in the 1957 slaying of a 7-year-old school girl whom he abducted as she played on a street corner in the small Illinois town where they lived just blocks from each other.
Judge James Hallock pronounced Jack McCullough guilty of murder, kidnapping and abduction in one of the oldest cold-case murders to go to trial in the United States.
McCullough was around 17 on the snowy night in December more than 50 years ago when second-grader Maria Ridulph went missing in Sycamore, about 60 miles west of Chicago. He later enlisted in the military, and ultimately settled in Seattle where he worked as a Washington state police officer.
Innocence Abducted: An Open Letter to Missing Johnny Gosch, from His Mom
September 8, 2012 | West Des Moines Patch
It has been 30 long years since you were ripped away from your family and everything you knew in life to be good. On the day you were kidnapped, it was so difficult to believe such a thing could happen in a quiet neighborhood. Nothing like this had happened in our community before.
I could only imagine what was happening to you, the terror, fear and pain you endured. In the first days, thousands of people volunteered to help us search for you. Each time a search party would come back and had found nothing, I breathed a sigh of relief because perhaps it was a sign you were still alive.
Innocence Abducted: From Johnny Gosch to Evansdale Cousins, 30 Years Have Brought Many Changes to Missing Children Investigations
September 7, 2012 | The Ankeny Patch
Within hours of the disappearance of Elizabeth Collins, 9, and her cousin Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, the town of Evansdale was crawling with people searching for the girls.
The girls went missing while riding their bikes near Meyers Lake in Evansdale on July 13. They were last seen at 12:30 p.m., and the family reported them missing at 3 p.m.
That afternoon, officers knocked on doors across Evansdale and conducted an extensive ground, air and water search. Hundreds of volunteers helped canvass the town and surrounding woods, continuing into the night and picking up again the next morning.
Police More Prepared for Abductions Today, But Threat of Sexual Predators Greater
September 7, 2012 | Iowa City Patch
The longtime director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says police officers do a better job of taking care of their own. The case of missing paperboy Johnny Gosch is one investigation longtime Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation director Gene Meyer wishes he could have closed before ending a 38-year law enforcement career last year.
It’s a bit like a pesky gnat. Brush it away, but it keeps coming back.
“I’d love to have an answer, as would his parents, but I’d also like to know what happened to Eugene Martin and who killed Evelyn Miller,” Meyer said. “It’s the ones you don’t solve that you think about. That’s how it is in law enforcement. Anyone in this business will tell you that. They don’t happen as a matter of course, thank God.”
Johnny Gosch’s Mom ‘a Pioneer’ in Protecting Children (Part 3 of a Series)
September 6, 2012 | The Marion Patch
Thirty years of studying the sinister world of human trafficking and child pornography have made Noreen Gosch a person of dark corners and shuttered windows, places she can sit in semi-seclusion and see what’s going on before anyone sees her.
That’s what can happen to a mother whose son has been missing for 30 years, 30 years of wonder and fear about what may have happened to her 12-year-old son, Johnny, who vanished while delivering papers in his West Des Moines neighborhood.
Gosch is just one mother of many: Some 2,185 kids are reported missing each day. Of the 5,354 people reported missing in Iowa in 2011, 4,593 of them were juveniles, according to an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation report.
Ankeny Man Recalls His Work to Help Find Johnny Gosch
September 5, 2012 | Ankeny Patch
Thirty years ago today Johnny Gosch disappeared while out delivering the Des Moines Sunday Register, and authorities have never found him.
While police believe he was likely abducted, his fate is still unknown. Volunteers who helped Johnny’s parents search for the 12-year-old boy are remembering their efforts this week.
“I think everybody could grasp the intensity of this; they just didn’t realize that it could go on like this,” Ron Sampson, former publisher of the Ankeny Press Citizen, told the Des Moines Register.
Innocence Abducted: West Des Moines School Security Tightened, Police Procedures Change
September 5, 2012 | West Des Moines Patch
In more carefree days, people could walk in and out of West Des Moines elementary schools freely. Now, they’re buzzed in through an electronic security system, one example of cultural changes in the 30 years since Johnny Gosch disappeared.
30 years later, Johnny Gosch’s mom still deals with the pain
September 5, 2012 | KCCI Channel 8 Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa — “There was a night I didn’t think I would live, the pain was so bad,” Noreen Gosch told KCCI’s Cynthia Fodor Monday.
Gosch still deals with the pain by taking action to keep the case alive, although she believes her son was a victim of human trafficking and sold to a pedophile.
Wednesday marks the 30th anniversary that Johnny Gosch disappeared from a West Des Moines neighborhood while he delivered newspapers.
List of Missing Kids: West Des Moines and Polk County
September 5, 2012 | West Des Moines Patch
The Iowa Department of Public Safety keeps a database of missing persons throughout Iowa, children and adults alike, going back to 1973. The website is updated four times each day.
The database lists only one person from West Des Moines, John David “Johnny” Gosch, but includes 10 people – ranging from age 5 to 16 – as missing from Polk County. There are no missing persons reported from Dallas County.
The Iowa Missing Person Hotline is available seven days a week to request assistance locating a missing person and report information on the sighting/location of a missing person.
Innocence Abducted: Noreen Gosch Blinded by Ugly World of Child Sex Trade (Part 2 of a Series)
September 5, 2012 | Ames Patch
Police say it’s “likely” Johnny Gosch was abducted and “possible” his mom’s right and he fell into a vortex of child prostitution, snuff films and pornography.
It isn’t a huge leap to believe that missing Iowa paperboy Johnny Gosch was kidnapped and forced into the sex trade, says an Iowa police detective overseeing the 30-year-old case, which remains open.
Johnny’s disappearance on Sept. 5, 1982, while delivering the Des Moines Sunday Register is classified as a missing persons case, and there’s “a strong likelihood” Johnny was abducted, said Detective Tom Boyd, a 25-year veteran of the West Des Moines Police Department.
30 Years After Johnny Gosch Vanished, Iowa’s Innocence Abducted (Part 1 of a Series)
September 4, 2012 | Iowa City Patch
During her 30-year search for her son, Noreen Gosch has been called confrontational, emotional and delusional, all harsh words for a woman living through every parent’s nightmare – the disappearance and possible abduction of a child.
Gosch has deflected it, singularly focused on bringing her boy home.
“Your child is the true victim,” she told Patch recently. “You have been left with a terrible heartache, but if you always think of the child, you can’t allow yourself to be the victim.”
Thirty years after missing child Johnny Gosch vanished, volunteers relive case
September 4, 2012 | Des Moines Register
A group of old friends recently returned to the ground that connected them — the corner of 42nd Street and Marcourt Lane in West Des Moines where 12-year-old Johnny Gosch was last seen before he disappeared on a quiet Sunday morning 30 years ago.
Iowa’s Missing Kids: Innocence Abducted
September 3, 2012 | Johnston Patch
Coming Tuesday, Iowa Patch takes a look at the 30th anniversary of the disappearance of Johnny Gosch and the kids now missing from every corner of Iowa.
Case Unsolved for 20 Years
August 30, 2012 | KWQC Quad-Cities, IA
Twenty years ago on August 23, 1992, 21-year old Tammy Zywicki was abducted along I-80 on the way to school and killed. Her killer has never been found.
That day Tammy Zywicki dropped her brother off at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and then headed to school in Grinnell, Iowa.
She never made it there. She went missing along I-80W in LaSalle County. Her car was found abandoned by mile marker 83 that same day. Her body later turned up just nine days later in Lawrence County, Missouri, near Joplin.
Convict stands trial in 21-year-old cold case; woman was sexually assaulted, murdered in Redding
August 29, 2012 | The Redding Record Searchlight
Twenty-one years ago this month, the body of 53-year-old Despina Magioudis was found in a field that is now the parking lot of the Lowe’s Home Improvement Store on East Cypress Avenue.
The mother of five daughters had been bludgeoned and strangled to death.
A Shasta County jury Wednesday viewed a two-hour video of her accused killer confessing before police investigators to the murder and listened as a state Department of Justice criminal lab official explained how DNA evidence helped to thaw the once ice-cold case.
Here’s what Johnny gosch would look like today
August 24, 2012 | KCCI Channel 8 Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa — As the 30th anniversary of Johnny Gosch’s disappearance approaches, a new photo shows what he would look like today.
FBI hopes new $50,000 reward will help find mysterious killer 20 years after college student raped, murdered, wrapped in duct tape, and dumped in blanket
August 23, 2012 | Associated Press
After her car broke down along an Illinois freeway, a Burlington County college student described by her mother as an all-American ‘girly girl’ was snatched, attacked sexually, and repeatedly stabbed, perhaps by a trucker posing as a good Samaritan.
Tammy Zywicki’s body eventually turned up in a blanket wrapped with duct tape in southwestern Missouri, hundreds of miles from where she was last seen alive.
Two decades later, the killer is unknown. Federal and Illinois investigators hope a $50,000 reward changes that.
Will new reward crack Iowa cold case?
August 23, 2012 | KCCI Channel 8 Des Moines
The FBI says that solving the killing of Iowa college student Tammy Zywicki found dead after her car broke down on an Illinois interstate in 1992 remains a priority. (Video)
Twenty Years Later, Murder of Tammy Zywicki Remains Unsolved
August 20, 2012 | CBS Chicago
CHICAGO (CBS) — The mother of a murdered college student says 20 years later, she’s resigned to the loss of her daughter but still wants to know who killed her.
Joanne Zywicki said her daughter Tammy was just 21 when she was kidnapped from an Illinois highway. Twenty years ago on Thursday, her car broke down as she was driving back to college in Iowa.
Pine Ridge Reservation Deaths To Be Reinvestigated
Aug. 18, 2012 | NPR News
(Weekend Edition Saturday / South Dakota Public Radio) — A deadly occupation at Wounded Knee, S.D., in 1973 left a legacy of violence. Now a U.S. attorney is re-examining 45 related deaths that tribal officials believe had the backing of the FBI.
Former news anchor writes book about Huisentruit’s disappearance
August 17, 2012 | Star News
Author and speaker Beth Bednar landed at the Sherburne History Center in Becker Aug. Aug. 4 to speak about her book, “Dead Air: the Disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit,” to a small crowd, while also sharing a little about the ongoing investigation into what happened to the Mason City, Iowa news anchor.
Jodi Huisentruit’s disappearance has continued to reverberate through the Midwest and the nation since the day she vanished outside her apartment in Mason City in the early morning hours of June 27, 1995.
Missing Boy’s Mother Helping in Search for Black Hawk County Girls
August 15, 2012 | KCRG-TV 9, Cedar Rapids
DES MOINES, Iowa -The mother of missing paperboy Johnny Gosch is helping Wednesday in the search for two missing Iowa girls from Evansdale.
Noreen Gosch will be at a booth setup at the Iowa State Fair to help collect clues in the case. The booth is located in the Grandstand in the Hall of Law. Gosch was 12 years old when he went missing in West Des Moines on Sept. 5, 1982.
Cold case: 32-year-old murder still leaves questions
August 12, 2012 | The Galesburg Register-Mail
GALESBURG — When a man dies, at least some of his secrets die with him.
Such was the case with Raymundo Esparza, a transient in his 50s who died from liver cancer at the Iowa City veterans’ hospital in 1983.
Esparza was a drifter, a veteran, a drug addict and an alcoholic. But what police were never able to confirm was whether Esparza was a murderer.
But as far as Galesburg police officers are concerned today, Esparza is the answer to one of the oldest unsolved homicides in Galesburg.
Neighbors step out at National Night Out
August 8, 2012 | WCF Courier
WATERLOO, Iowa — It shouldn’t take a tragedy to pull residents together, according to Richard Christie.
He is the grandfather of 5-year-old Evelyn Miller, who disappeared from a Floyd apartment July 1, 2005. She was found dead in the Cedar River days later, and the slaying remains unsolved.
Uncle of Missing Iowa Girls Treated for Overdose
August 3, 2012 | KWQC TV6 News, Quad Cities
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) – An uncle of the missing Iowa cousins is recovering in a hospital following an apparent drug overdose. Wylma Cook says her 32-year-old son Jeremiah Cook was in stable condition Friday at Allen Hospital in Waterloo after the overdose Thursday night. She says he’s expected to be OK.
Wylma Cook says the disappearance of 10-year-old Lyric Cook and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins has “taken a toll” on Jeremiah, who was having trouble sleeping and eating. She says he has no children but was very close to his nieces, considering them his “prized possessions.”
The girls vanished after leaving for a bike ride July 13 in Evansdale.
Jessica Altman grew up without her mother, always wanting answers
August 1, 2012 | The Fort Dodge Messenger
Seeing newspaper stories about another unsolved murder in Fort Dodge has fueled the frustration Jessica Altman feels about her mother’s death.
Angela Altman was murdered on Jan. 24, 1981, in the home she shared with her then-4-year-old daughter. While Jessica Altman understands many years have passed since her mother’s death and the majority of those who were involved in the investigation are no longer with law enforcement, she said she doesn’t completely understand why her mother’s case never seems to get attention from law enforcement officials.
A voice from the past reaches out to Jessica Altman
July 31, 2012 | The Fort Dodge Messenger
Editor’s note – This is the second in a series of stories on the unsolved murder of Angela Altman
Cindy Henning didn’t know the young woman she had mentored through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program had been murdered in Fort Dodge 30 years earlier.
Jessica Altman didn’t know Henning and her mother had become friends in Davenport. A posting on the Iowa Cold Case website brought Altman and Henning together in 2011. Now, they are working to find justice for Angela Altman and closure for her daughter.
Missing Iowa Girls a Painful Reminder to Mom of Johnny Gosch
July 30, 2012 | Cedar Falls Patch
The possible abduction of Evansdale cousins is a painful reminder of the day a West Des Moines newspaper carrier disappeared. Noreen Gosch remembers her loss from three decades ago, a case that remains unsolved.
Noreen Gosch, whose 12-year-old son Johnny was kidnapped 30 years ago while delivering the Sunday paper, has reached out to the families of missing Evansdale cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey.
Arrest made in 4-year-old Clinton County murder case
July 30, 2012 | Radio Iowa
An arrest has been made in a murder investigation that began four years ago. The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of 47-year-old Andy Cole of Clinton in the 2008 death of Alysia Marburger of Sabula, Iowa.
Cole has been charged with murder in the first-degree. He is being held in the Clinton County Jail on $500,000 bond. Officials are not saying at this time what led to the arrest in the four year old case. Alysia Marburger’s body was found along a private drive leading to the Rock Creek Cabins located south of Camanche, Iowa in October of 2008.
The arrest is the result of an investigation by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Clinton County Attorney’s Office and the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.
Tammy Zywicki: 20-year hunt for a killer
July 30, 2012 | The Daily Herald
Two decades since her daughter was stabbed to death along an Illinois highway while headed back to college, JoAnn Zywicki has weathered the onslaught of birthdays, holidays and special occasions that often torment families of the murdered.
The fact that no one ever was arrested compounds the struggle of the 70-year-old mother of the murdered young woman, Tammy Zywicki. Over the years, she has watched as the police followed new leads and focused on new suspects, including an ex-con trucker who then died of AIDS, but mostly she has learned how to cope.
One year ago today, couple’s home found on fire
July 30, 2012 | KCCI Channel 8
NORWALK, Iowa — Investigators are still checking leads but report no arrests in the year following the slaying of a south-central Iowa man and the disappearance of his wife. The Warren County home of Kay and Bill Wood was destroyed by fire on July 30, 2011. His body was found in the debris. The 79-year-old had been shot several times.
Their truck was found in Kansas City, Mo., the next day. Seventy-two-year-old Kay Wood remains missing.
Who killed Angela Altman? More than 30 years after her mother’s murder, Jessica Altman wants some answers
July 29, 2012 | The Messenger
Angela Altman would have been 54 years old today. But Altman’s world ended before she reached her 23rd birthday. She was murdered in her Fort Dodge home on Jan. 24, 1981.
A juvenile suspect was arrested, briefly charged and released. No one has ever been held accountable for Altman’s death.
That hasn’t stopped her daughter, Jessica Altman, from hoping that someday, somebody will.
Murder unsolved two decades after woman’s body dumped in area
July 29, 2012 | The Joplin Globe
JOPLIN, Mo. — It has been two decades since Tammy Zywicki was stabbed to death along an Illinois highway while headed back to college and her body was dumped along Interstate 44 near Joplin. But for Cameo Carlson, a Joplin native who was a college friend of the murdered young woman, it almost seems as if it were yesterday.
After 20 years, mother copes with daughter’s unsolved murder
July 28, 2012 | The (Springfield, IL) State Journal-Register
ST. LOUIS — Two decades since her daughter was stabbed to death along an Illinois highway while headed back to college, JoAnn Zywicki has weathered the onslaught of birthdays, holidays and special occasions that often torment families of the murdered.
The fact that no one ever was arrested compounds the struggle of the 70-year-old mother of the murdered young woman, Tammy Zywicki. Over the years, she has watched as the police followed new leads and focused on new suspects, including an ex-con trucker who then died of AIDS, but mostly she has learned how to cope.
Authorities ID man found dead in lake
July 28, 2012 | KCCI Channel 8, Des Moines
JEWELL, Iowa — Investigators said Friday that they have identified a man found dead Thursday in Little Wall Lake near Jewell. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office said the State Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the man as Virgil Wilcox, 66, of Jewell.
Families of missing Iowa girls wrestle with what-ifs
July 28, 2012 | Chicago Sun-Times
EVANSDALE, Iowa — Two weeks since the mysterious disappearance of two young cousins in this small northeastern Iowa town, life is far from normal for the families praying for their return.
Heather Collins, mother of 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins, sits up at night with the window open, “waiting for a police car to pull up into my driveway with Elizabeth in it.”
Dan Morrissey, father of 10-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey, wrestles with the unknowns and what-ifs.
Jodi Huisentruit’s abduction subject of book and talk
July 27, 2012 | Star News
“What happened to Jodi Huisentruit?” is a question asked by many since she has gone missing nearly 20 years ago. Author and former news anchor Beth Bednar will visit the Sherburne History Center at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4 in Becker to discuss her investigation into this mystery and share her thoughts from her recently published book, “Dead Air: The Disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit.”
On June 27, 1995, Jodi Huisentruit disappeared while on her way to work as the news anchor in Mason City, Iowa. Police investigations have revealed signs of a struggle before her abduction.
EXPANDED STORY: Clinton man charged with murder in 2008 death
July 27, 2012 | Clinton Herald
CLINTON — UPDATED – 12:15 p.m.: Law enforcement officials have arrested a Clinton man in connection with the 2008 death of a Sabula woman. Andy Cole, 47, of Clinton, is charged with first degree murder of Alysia Marburger, 27, of Sabula.
Cole made an initial court appearance today and will return to court for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 3. He is being held on $500,000 cash bond at the Clinton County Jail.
Arrest made in Sabula murder cold case
July 27, 2012 | WQAD Quad Cities
A Clinton, Iowa man is arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the 2008 death of Alysia Marburger of Sabula.
Marburger, who lived with her parents, was reported missing October 10, 2008. She was 27.
Marburger’s car was found October 13 on 11th Avenue South in Clinton. On October 24, two weeks after she was reported missing, her body was found along a private drive leading to Rock Creek Cabins, 2828 Highway 67 in Camanche, Iowa.
- Courtesy photo WHBF-TV
- Andy Cole of Clinton has been charged with First Degree Murder for the October 2008 slaying of Alysia Marburger.
Charges filed in [Alysia Marburger] Cold Case
July 27, 2012 | WHBF-TV Channel 4
An arrest has been made in an almost four year old murder case. Alysia Marburger was found in October 2008 along a private drive by Rock Creek cabins near Camanche, Iowa.
On Friday the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of Andy Cole of Clinton in connection with the case. Cole has been charged with 1st Degree Murder. He is currently in the Clinton County Jail on a half a million dollars bond.
Police say DNA found on Marburger’s body links Cole to the crime.
Clinton man faces murder charge
July 27, 2012 | Quad-City Times
CLINTON — A Clinton man has been arrested in connection with the 2008 death of a Sabula woman.
Andy Cole, 47, of Clinton, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Alysia Marburger, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.
“I’m happy that we have made an arrest in this case,” Sheriff Rick Lincoln said.
Marburger’s body was discovered Oct. 24, 2008, along a private drive leading to some Rock Creek cabins south of Camanche.
According to an affidavit released Friday, Marburger was last seen leaving a friend’s apartment with Cole about 2:15 a.m. Oct. 7, 2008.
Daily briefings on missing Iowa girls ends
July 24, 2012 | The Des Moines Register
Authorities ended their daily news media briefings after Tuesday afternoon’s gathering, saying there was nothing new to release in the nearly two-week-old disappearance of two missing Iowa cousins. However, despite the quieting of the public conversation, officials emphasized the search for Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, and Elizabeth Collins, 8, continued at top speed.
Evelyn Miller’s grandmother understands the nightmare of a child disappearing
July 22, 2012 | WCF Courier
WATERLOO, Iowa — As the search for two missing cousins drags on in Evansdale, Linda Christie can’t help but think about what happened to her granddaughter seven years ago.
“The parallels are running just too close,” said Christie, of Waterloo.
Mother of abducted Johnny Gosch on missing cousins: ‘I know all too well what it’s like’
July 17, 2012 | The Sioux City Journal
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa | Every time Noreen Gosch hears about another missing child, she’s plunged back into the pit of anxiety, of worry, of despair. It’s a place she can’t describe. It’s a place she can’t fully escape.
“The anxiety of not knowing where your child is is enough to kill a parent,” said Gosh, who’s 12-year-old son Johnny Gosch disappeared on Sept. 5, 1982, while working his paper route for the Des Moines Register in West Des Moines.
“It’s the most stressful thing a person can go through,” Gosch said. “When there are no answers, your mind goes in a million directions.”
Also See KCRG TV 9 Report
Johnny Gosch’s mom talks about missing girls case
July 17, 2012 | KCCI Channel 8, Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa — Parents all over Iowa fear it, but few of them really know what it’s like to have a child disappear. Noreen Gosch and Richard and Linda Christie have been through it. They said they wanted to reach out to the families of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins, both of whom were last seen in Evansdale on Friday afternoon.
Elizabeth Collins, Lyric Cook-Morrissey: Search resumes for missing cousins, Iowa police say
July 16, 2012 | CBS News
(CBS/AP) EVANSDALE, Iowa – Police said Monday they will be renewing efforts to find missing cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey, three days after their bicycles were found near a lake in northeast Iowa.
PICTURES: Hundreds search for missing Iowa cousins
More than 350 volunteers helped search the area around Meyers Lake in Evansdale on Sunday for 8-year-old Elizabeth and her 10-year-old cousin Lyric, who were last seen Friday afternoon. Authorities have been interviewing family, friends and registered sex offenders who live in the area.
Evelyn Miller case fresh 7 years later
July 3, 2012 | WCF Courier
CHARLES CITY, Iowa — Carrying 5-year-old Evelyn Miller’s body from the Cedar River on July 6, 2005, was the hardest thing Floyd County Sheriff Rick Lynch has ever had to do.
“And the second hardest thing was asking one of the five deputies with me to help me do it,” Lynch says.
Family marks 7 years since Evelyn Miller’s disappearance, death
July 1, 2012 | KWWL Channel 7
WATERLOO (KWWL) — Sunday marks seven years since five-year-old Evelyn Miller disappeared from her Floyd County home. Six days later, her body was found in the Cedar River just a few miles away. It’s believed she was kidnapped, then murdered. But in seven years, no charges have been filed in the case. We talked with Evelyn’s family about their ongoing grief, and a new way they’re hoping will help them continue healing.
Huisentruit play features discussion, hope case is solved
June 28, 2012 | PostBulletin.com
SPRING VALLEY, Minn. — Sarah Kohn now thinks twice when she sees a parked car with an occupant in it because of preparation for her role as Jodi Huisentruit, a Mason City, Iowa, news anchor who was abducted 17 years ago Wednesday.
Kohn portrays Huisentruit in “Fade to Black,” a play at Brave Community Theater that takes the audience through Huisentruit’s last days, abduction and the following investigation. More than 100 people showed up at the premiere Wednesday night, which complemented acting with videos and interviews from the investigation.
Huisentruit, then 27, was on her way to work as a morning news anchor at KIMT-TV on June 27, 1995. She disappeared around 4:30 a.m. There are no suspects.
Does book on Huisentruit hold the key to solving one of the Midwest’s biggest mysteries?
June 27, 2012 | The Spring Valley Tribune
It has been nearly 20 years since her disappearance, but people who live in the Midwest haven’t stopped thinking about Jodi Huisentruit. The former morning anchor at KIMT-TV in Mason City, Iowa, disappeared without a trace June 27, 1995.
Police don’t know what happened to her, but one thing is clear – foul play was involved. When they arrived at her apartment complex that morning, police found Huisentruit’s belongings strewn through the parking lot and her blood on the side mirror of her car, but there was no sign of the young anchor woman, who was just 27 years old when she disappeared. Over the years there have been hundreds of leads followed and dozens of theories about what might have happened, but to this day the case remains unsolved.
Cedar Rapids Family Pleads for Answers in Unsolved Homicide
June 26, 2012 | KCRG-TV Channel 9
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — One year after an unsolved homicide, one Cedar Rapids family continues to search for justice. On June 26, 2011, Dexter Meeks, 22, was gunned down outside his home on 15th Street Southeast. No arrests have been made in the case and Meeks’ family wants answers.
Cedar Rapids family pleads for answers in one year old cold case
June 26, 2012 | Eastern Iowa News
CEDAR RAPIDS – A Cedar Rapids family continues its fight for justice, one year after an unsolved murder. One year ago, 22 year old Dexter Meeks was shot and killed. Tuesday, his case remains unsolved. Meeks was gunned down outside his home in the 200 block of 15th street Southeast. The shooting happened early Sunday morning on June 26th last summer. It’s been a long year and his family is frustrated and wants answers.
Huisentruit to be Featured in National Broadcast
June 25, 2012 | KIMT-TV Channel 3
MASON CITY, Iowa – The disappearance of one of our own here at KIMT News 3 is returning to the spotlight once again. This Wednesday will mark 17 years since the disappearance of DayBreak anchor Jodi Huisentruit. As the anniversary draws near, Jodi’s story is being told in all new ways.
For five seasons, the show “Disappeared” on the Investigation Discovery Channel has dedicated their hour long weekly broadcast to one missing person. A crew from Investigation Discovery has been in Mason City the past week preparing for an episode on Jodi Huisentruit.
Play takes up real life mystery of TV anchor’s disappearance
June 22, 2012 | PostBulletin.com
Of all the stories Gary Peterson, of Spring Valley, worked on as news director at KAAL-TV, one has stuck with him. Since 2002, he and then KAAL news anchor Josh Benson, have investigated the 1995 disappearance of KIMT-TV morning news anchor Jodi Huisentruit, of Mason City, Iowa.
“We can’t let this one die,” he said.
Huisentruit, 27, was on her way to work when she disappeared on June 27, 1995, from her apartment complex parking lot in Mason City. There are no suspects in her case.
Answer Man: Huisentruit play headed for Spring Valley stage
June 19, 2012 | PostBulletin.com
The play is called “Fade to Black” and was written by Gary Peterson, a former news director at KIMT, but “adapted for the stage” by Debi Neville, a frequent freelance writer for this paper. Neville also is involved with the Brave Community Theatre in Spring Valley, where the play gets its premiere June 27-30.
A story in the Mason City, Iowa, newspaper says that the Huisentruit family is aware of the play and gave its OK to the project. For more on the show, call (507) 951-4394. Tickets also are available at Sunshine Foods and Chateau de Chic in Spring Valley.
More space for mounds of police evidence
June 18, 2012 | Omaha World-Herald
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Zac Chwirka said he’s seen pretty much everything imaginable pass through the Sioux City Police Department’s evidence storage area: chunks of walls, brass knuckles, bloody clothing with bullet and knife holes, carpet, cocaine, old VHS tapes — even a plastic camel snatched from a Nativity set.
Today’s technology means any scrap of evidence found at a crime scene can potentially lead to the solving of a case. In fact, Sioux City police are collecting so many pieces of evidence — 6,790 items in 2011 alone — that the department ran out of storage space a couple of years ago.
“We are literally collecting everything nowadays for evidence that we wouldn’t have looked at before,” said Chwirka, senior crime scene analyst. “We were literally stacking boxes on top of boxes and it was becoming harder to find a piece of evidence. We had just physically outgrown our capacity here.”
Decorah’s Epperly will speak during this week’s CSI tour
June 12, 2012 | Decorah Newspapers
Some 80 25-year-old and older cars from seven states and 50 Iowa communities will tour parts of western Iowa June 13-17 as part of the 17th annual MotorMemories spring vintage vehicle tour. Crime Scene Iowa (CSI) is the tour theme, taking a closer look at some of the better, as well as lesser known crime stories in the Hawkeye state. Among the local MotorMemories participants are Dave and Donna Gilbert of Decorah, driving their 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air.
The tour begins Wednesday, June 13, with presenting-sponsor CWG Insurance hosting an evening event on their Urbandale campus. First CSI stop is the Iowa community of Villisca, 100 years to the week after six members of the Josiah B. Moore family and two young houseguests were found bludgeoned to death with the Moores’ own axe. The murder spawned nearly ten years of investigations, repeated grand jury hearings, a spectacular slander suit, and murder trial. But after all that, and a century later, the murders remain unsolved.
100 Years After Iowa Ax Murders, Case Remains Unsolved
June 10, 2012 | KCRG-TV9
VILLISCA, Iowa – A century after Iowa’s most confusing and highly profiled crime, there is still something mysterious about a tiny white framed house in a small southwest Iowa town. The house at 508 E 2nd Street now attracts thrill seekers from all around the world to Villisca. What happened at the house during the overnight hours of June 9, 1912 makes it the sight of Iowa’s biggest murder mystery, which will likely never be solved.
Iowa man continues 57-year quest to solve Villisca ax murders
June 9, 2012 | Des Moines Register
Ed Epperly has investigated a 100-year-old murder for 57 years. His lifelong determination to find every detail in the unsolved case is nearly as puzzling a mystery as who slaughtered the eight people in their sleep. The grisly ax murders occurred in Villisca in 1912.
UPDATE: Man who admits to 2 murders 31 years ago pleads guilty; sentenced to life in prison
June 8, 2012 | WCF Courier
WATERLOO, Iowa —Jack Wendell Pursel said God has forgiven him for torturing and killing an elderly Waterloo couple in 1981. But relatives of Robert and Goldie Huntbach said they aren’t ready to forgive.
Pursel, a 66-year-old California resident who confessed in May to the double slaying that had been unsolved for decades, formally pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in Black Hawk County District Court Thursday afternoon.
Luka Rocco Magnotta case shines a spotlight on the world of online sleuthing
June 8, 2012 | National Post
Shelley Denman’s sister was the private investigator, not her.
Ms. Denman was — still is — a mortgage underwriter living in a Kansas City suburb, married to a self-employed contractor and a mother to twin boys. She certainly never planned on treading into her sister’s line of work.
But when Ms. Denman started searching for her husband’s long-missing family members a decade ago, she stumbled into a world of online sleuthing — one that attracts both amateur and trained detectives looking to track down criminals and crack unsolved cases.
Inside the Sioux City police evidence room
June 5, 2012 | The Sioux City Journal
SIOUX CITY | Senior Crime Scene Analyst Zac Chwirka said he’s seen pretty much everything imaginable pass through the Sioux City Police Department evidence storage area: chunks of walls, brass knuckles, bloody clothing with bullet and knife holes, carpet, cocaine, old VHS tapes — even a plastic camel snatched from a nativity set.
Case of missing Clarke County man remains open
June 4, 2012 | Osceola Sentinel-Tribune
It has been nearly five and one-half years since the Clarke County Sheriff’s Department received a call that Bill Douglas was missing. Despite countless hours searching the Douglas farm and the years of investigating the disappearance with the assistance of the Division of Criminal Investigation, the Clarke County man’s whereabouts remain a mystery.
Cold cases: When even the victims are a mystery
June 2, 2012 | Press-Telegram (Long Beach, CA)
LONG BEACH — Hunting for a cold case killer can be one of the toughest tasks that fall to police.
Even harder, say the three detectives who make up the Long Beach Police Department’s Cold Case Unit, are the cases in which even the victims are a mystery, with no name and no family to claim them.
Those, however, are also among the most satisfying cases once solved, said Homicide Detective Bryan McMahon and retired detectives Michael Dugan and Stephen Jones, who came back to work the Cold Case Unit part-time after it was relaunched in 2009.
Iowa’s cold cases: Website offers hope to victims’ families
May 31, 2012 | Des Moines Register
The stories kept coming.
The year was 2005. Newspaper reporter Jody Ewing had finished her series on a half-dozen Sioux City-area cold case crimes for the Sioux City Journal magazine, the Weekender.
But months after the last paragraph published, emails and letters continued. Family members of victims, amateur crime historians and retired law enforcement officers wrote and called Ewing with more stories of unsolved crimes from across Iowa.
Iowa’s cold cases: Families yearn for the truth
May 30, 2012 | Des Moines Register
Tammy Parks fears the day her son’s case goes cold.
The body of her son, Jared Parks, was found along Interstate Highway 35/80 three years ago this month. The official cause of death was listed as multiple blunt force trauma consistent with being struck by a vehicle.
She believes her son, then 17, was murdered. The case is officially classified as a suspicious death. Parks worries that one day it will have another classification: cold case.
Will the Isabel Celis abduction ruin your kid’s childhood?
May 29, 2012 | The Tucson Citizen
In 1982 a 12 year old Des Moines Iowa paperboy named Johnny Gosch disappeared. The case got enormous attention and caused quite a stir. Further interest in Gosch sprang up years later after his mother claimed to have been visited by the boy in 1999. She insists he is now living under a false identity out of fear for his life. His father questions whether this visit actually occurred at all. The case pushed the issue of child abduction into the national limelight in much the same way the Isabel Celis case here in Tucson. The Gocsh case led to the passing of The Johnny Gosch Bill which mandates immediate police response to calls about missing children in Iowa. There are similar bills in eight other states. He has been missing for over 29 years and for many people his mop-topped face will always be the face of the cause of missing children.
After Murder Suspect’s Arrest, a Look at the Legacy of Etan Patz
May 25, 2012 | PBS NewsHour
JUDY WOODRUFF: Next, an update on a missing child case that remains unsolved after more than 30 years. Ray Suarez has that story.
RAY SUAREZ: For three decades, the question hung over the New York City Police Department: What happened to Etan Patz? The 6-year-old boy disappeared as he walked two blocks to his school bus stop in Manhattan 33 years ago today.
Remains believed to belong to young mom
May 24, 2012 | Telegraph Herald
MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa — Skeletal remains discovered in southeastern Iowa in March are believed to be those of a 24-year-old mother who vanished last year, but how and why she died may be never known because a key suspect committed suicide, investigators said Wednesday.
Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Jeff Uhlmeyer said investigators were confident the remains are of Jackie Douthart, of Mount Pleasant, who disappeared a year ago Tuesday after a night out with friends.
- Courtesy photo Sioux City Journal
- Copy the text you want to insert and then double-click here to insert the photo description, or just double-click the first word here and type your text and then delete forward the rest of info up to the period. DO NOT go past the period because it will screw things up.
May 21, 2012 | Sioux City Journal
Police still unraveling mystery of missing Alton boy
ALTON, Iowa | Breiton Ackerman, 4, disappeared while fishing with his family May 22, 2005, on Willow Creek near Alton, Iowa.
The preschool graduate is presumed to have drowned. His body was never found.
Seven years later, police are still trying to unravel the mystery of what happened to Breiton. The boy simply vanished without a trace.
Pasadena sex offender, drifter admits role in ‘sadistic’ 1981 Iowa double slaying
May 14, 2012 | Pasadena Star-News
A 1981 cold case that involved the robbery and brutal murder of an elderly Iowa farm couple moved closer to a resolution after a 66-year-old drifter and convicted sex offender walked into a police station and confessed, authorities said Monday.
Jack Pursel, 66, who uses a Pasadena mailing address and maintains a home in South Gate, admitted he tortured Robert Huntbach with an electric cattle prod and bound, gagged and maced Goldie Huntbach before killing the couple more than 31 years ago, Waterloo police Chief Daniel Trelka said.
“It was very sadistic; it was a sadistic homicide,” Trelka said.
Iowa Double Murder Solved After Three Decades
May 13, 2012 | Empowered News
The double murder and robbery case of an elderly couple in Waterloo, Iowa, shocked the entire community three decades ago. Due to the absence of evidences, the case remained unsolved until a 66-year-old man walked into a police station and confessed on Wednesday of the grizzly crime.
Jack Wendell Pursel, the man who confessed of murder, appeared in court today for an initial appearance, where a judge raised Pursel’s bail from $500,000 to $2 million for shooting Richard Huntbach, 85, and wife Goldie, 77.
On Wednesday, Pursel, who lived in South Gate, California recently, told Waterloo police the perfect details about the crime only somebody involved with it would know, said Capt. Tim Pillack of the Waterloo Police Department.
Call to long-lost brother preceded California man’s confession to murders
May 11, 2012 | WCF Courier
WATERLOO, Iowa — When Jack Wendell Pursel walked into the Waterloo Police Department on Tuesday to confess to an unsolved 1981 double slaying, it wasn’t the first time he showed up out of the blue.
Days before his confession, Pursel called a brother he hadn’t seen in years. He told the brother, who wasn’t familiar with the crime, about the killings of 85-year-old Robert Huntbach and his 77-year-old wife, Goldie.
Pursel, 66 and living in South Gate, Calif., then told his brother he was the one who did it and of his plans to go to Waterloo police with the information.
Keeping cold cases from being forgotten
May 11, 2012 | Iowa City Press-Citizen
When Jody Ewing first began writing about Iowa’s unsolved murders, people would ask if she had a personal connection to a cold case that sparked her interest. Until 2007, the answer was always no.
Cold Case Confession: 31 years after committing a double murder, a California man flies back to Iowa, walks into the Waterloo police station, and confesses to the crime. KWWL’s Colleen O’Shaughnessy reports.
May 11, 2012 | MSNBC News
Three decades after double homicide, man allegedly walks into Iowa police station and confesses
May 11, 2012 | MSNBC.com
Three decades have passed since Robert and Goldie Huntbach were found tied up and shot to death in their Waterloo, Iowa, home, and no suspects were ever arrested in the elderly couple’s murders — until this week, when one of them voluntarily walked into police headquarters and confessed.
Man, 66, confesses to brutal double murder of elderly couple three decades ago
May 10, 2012 | Mail Online
A 66-year-old man confessed to the grisly murders of an elderly couple after keeping the secret to himself for more than 30 years.
Jack Wendell Pursel confessed to shooting Richard Huntbach, 85, and his wife, Goldie, 77, in their home in 1981 after walking into the Waterloo, Iowa police station and requesting an audience with officers.
Director of Safety Services Dan Trelka told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that this confession was ‘once in a lifetime.’
Top Stories — University of Iowa Police Hoping for New Information in Nearly 40 Year Old Murder
May 10, 2012 | KGAN CBS 2
IOWA CITY, IA (KGAN/KFXA) — Here in Iowa there’s a site dedicated to highlighting the state’s cases that have run cold. The site contains homicides, missing persons, all of the unsolved.
“We do have cold cases of our own,” says Alton Poole.
Jack Pursel’s confession to a 30 year double homicide in Waterloo has sparked new interest in other cold cases especially one on the campus of The University of Iowa.
Cold cases land in spotlight
May 10, 2012 | KWWL.com Channel 7
WATERLOO (KWWL) – They are the cases authorities continue to look at, even decades later.
In 1995, Angela Buck was shot in her chest. Her body was found south of Dunkerton in a wooded area.
In 1977, Ronald Butler was stabbed to death in the bathroom of his home in Waterloo.
In 1974, Dennis Clougherty died of five gunshot wounds. His body found near Union Road in Cedar Falls.
These are just some of the cases haunting investigators.
Iowa Double Murder: Man Confesses Three Decades Later
May 10, 2012 | ABC NEWS
The grisly murder and robbery of an elderly couple in Waterloo, Iowa, stunned the community three decades ago. But the case remained unsolved until a 66-year-old man walked into a police station and confessed on Wednesday.
Jack Wendell Pursel was in court today for an initial appearance, where a judge raised Pursel’s bail from $500,000 to $2 million for shooting Richard Huntbach, 85, and wife Goldie, 77.
- Courtesy photo Matthew Putney / WCF Courier
- Defense attorney Aaron Hawbaker, right, talks with Jack W. Pursel during an initial court hearing Thursday, May 10, 2012, in Waterloo. Pursel faces two counts of first-degree murder after confessing to killing two Waterloo residents in 1981.
May 10, 2012 | WCF Courier
UPDATE: Confessed killer appears in court
WATERLOO, Iowa — Bond for the California man who allegedly confessed this week to a 1981 double slaying has been raised to $2 million.
Jack Wendell Pursel, 66, recently of South Gate, was originally held on $500,000 bond for two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of 85-year-old Robert Huntbach and his 77-year-old wife, Goldie.
A Murder confession ‘completely out of nowhere’
May 10, 2012 | The Des Moines Register
A neighbor found the bodies of Robert and Goldie Huntbach on Jan. 13, 1981, a Monday, in their modest home west of downtown Waterloo.
The elderly couple — he was 85, she was 77 — died sometime Sunday night or early that morning. Both were shot twice in the head. A witness reported seeing a suspicious person near the Huntbach home Saturday or Sunday. Waterloo police interviewed dozens of people, but the dragnet never produced charges.
Man Confessed to 1981 Murders
May 10, 2012 | ABC News (Video)
Jack Pursel admitted to killing Robert and Goldie Huntbach during home robbery.
UPDATE: Waterloo police make arrest in 1981 double murder investigation
May 9, 2012 | KWWL-TV Channel 7
WATERLOO (KWWL) — 66 year-old Jack Pursel walked into the Waterloo Police Department and admitted to the 1981 murders of Robert and Goldie Huntbach. Investigators say his faith made him travel from California to Iowa to confess to the crime in person.
Families seek clues in slaying, disappearance
May 4, 2012 | KCCI Ch. 8 Des Moines
NORWALK, Iowa – A central Iowa family was searching for answers and justice Thursday.
Bill Wood, 79, and his wife, Kay, were more than soulmates. They were best friends, and they were deeply in love, family members said
But the end of their lives together is a mystery. In July, Bill Wood was found shot to death inside his burned-down Norwalk home, and his wife has not been seen since.
Police release new information on I-70 killer
May 2, 2012 | KSDK.com Channel 5
St. Charles, MO (KSDK) – Thursday, May 3, will mark the 20th anniversary of the murder of Nancy Kitzmiller at the Boot Village store in St. Charles, Missouri. The murder of Kitzmiller was just one in a series of crimes committed by a man who became known as the I-70 killer. Six crimes, all committed between April and May of 1992, were linked by murder weapon and ammunition.
5 years later, few answers in Winnebago, Neb., native’s disappearance
May 2, 2012 | The Sioux City Journal
SIOUX CITY — Ricarda Tillman-Lockett left Sioux City as a teenager for big-city life in Memphis, Tenn. She was married within a few years. The couple had a baby boy. Tillman-Lockett, 22, was reported missing Feb. 19, 2007, when she didn’t pick up her son, then 11 months old, from a babysitter.
- Courtesy photo Tim Hynds/Sioux City Journal
- Ada Redowl talks about the April 1997 murder of her grandson, David Redowl, on Monday. The case remains unsolved.
April 26, 2012 | The Sioux City Journal
15 years later, Sioux City death remains mystery
SIOUX CITY — David Leon Redowl Sr., 27, was found bleeding in a pickup behind his family’s West Third Street home. He was pronounced dead a short time later.
It was April 26, 1997.
Fifteen years later, police still are trying to piece together what happened that night. A murder weapon was never found. No charges have been filed.
- Courtesy photo Kevin E. Schmidt/QUAD-CITY TIMES
- Chad Welsh of Burlington, Iowa, was convicted of murder Angela Hennes of Davenport.
April 23, 2012 | Quad-City Times
Police: Welsh is ‘person of interest’ in other unsolved homicides
A man convicted last week of murdering a Davenport woman in 2007 is now a “person of interest” in two other unsolved homicides in the area involving female victims, police said.
A Scott County jury found 34-year-old Chad Welsh of Burlington guilty Tuesday of first-degree murder and other charges related to the death of 41-year-old Angela Hennes.
Who Started the Milk Carton Campaign to Find Missing Children?
April 20, 2012 | The Globe and Mail
Among the missing children featured on the side of milk cartons in the 1980s was Etan Patz – a six year old boy who disappeared nearly 33 years ago, on the very first day his parents let him walk alone to the Soho bus stop en route to school.
The FBI and New York City Police Department announced Thursday that, based on new evidence, they would begin investigating a basement room in a building just blocks from where Etan’s parents continue live.
Remains in southeastern Iowa are young woman’s, state says
April 12, 2012 | Des Moines Register
A set of human remains found in southeastern Iowa last month belongs to a woman in her 20s or early 30s, investigators said this afternoon. The State Medical Examiner’s Office and a forensic anthropologist estimate the woman died last summer or early fall. They did not announce a cause of death. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s Crime Lab will try to help identify her using DNA testing.
Attendees at Okland memorial told to carry on spirit of service
April 9, 2012 | Des Moines Register
WEST DES MOINES — Friends and colleagues of Ashley Okland were encouraged this morning to celebrate the homicide victim’s life by carrying on her spirit of service. Sunday marked the one year anniversary of the 27-year-old’s death. The real estate agent and community volunteer was shot twice at a West Des Moines model home and died later a local hospital on April 8, 2011.
Trial set for ex-Iowa officer who wants job back
April 6, 2012 | KGAN CBS 2 News
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — A trial is set for 9 a.m. on October 24th for a former Mason City police officer who’s trying to get her job back. Maria Ohl was fired last year for mishandling information in the abduction of Mason City television anchor Jodi Huisentruit in 1995. Her firing was upheld by a city commission, and Ohl appealed to Cerro Gordo County District Court. Bremer County Judge Christopher Foy has been assigned to the case.
Okland reward now up to $150,000
April 4, 2012 | The Des Moines Register
The reward offered in the Ashley Okland homicide case doubled today, growing from $75,000 to $150,000. Sunday will mark the one-year anniversary of the day the 27-year-old Realtor was shot twice at a West Des Moines model home. She died later at a local hospital.
Police Release New Info in Ashley Okland Case
April 2, 2012 | KCCI Channel 8 Des Moines
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Police said they hope a new larger reward will help convince someone to come forward with information in the Ashley Okland case.
Questions Linger Surrounding Harry’s Death
March 29, 2012 | ABC Ch. 5, Des Moines
Tarah Harry has had seven months to think and rethink what could have possibly happened to her husband 48-year-old Stephon Harry. Now that his body has been found, that leaves her with another set of questions. When Harry didn’t return home from a Des Moines bar on a September evening, Tarah thought the worst.
Residents hope stage play about Padfield can teach anti-bullying lessons
March 23, 2012 | The Sun
The tragic life and death of former Lisbon resident Marlene Padfield will be given a tribute through a dramatic play that centers on the lessons to be learned from bullying and peer pressure, if two Lisbon residents have their way.
Marlene was 17 when she was reported missing after last being seen alive on Feb. 19, 1959, after a late night meeting with a young man in Cedar Rapids. Her remains were found along a dirt road south of old Hwy. 30 between Mount Vernon and Cedar Rapids on April 29, 1959.
Discovery of remains spurs M.P. speculation: As investigation starts, police chief notes two women still missing
March 20, 2012 | The Hawk Eye
It will take a month, maybe two, for authorities to determine the identity of skeletal remains two bicycle riders found in rural Henry County Saturday afternoon. Jeff Uhlmeyer, a special agent from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said the difficulty lies in getting credible DNA samples from the bones. “It probably will be a month or two before we are able to do DNA and other examinations, to match it with the person those remains belong to,” Uhlmeyer said Monday.
Human Remains Found West of Mount Pleasant
March 19, 2012 | KCRG TV-9
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Human remains discovered by children riding their bikes in rural southeastern Iowa could be those of one of two missing women from Mount Pleasant, including a 24-year-old mother who vanished last year amid suggestions of foul play, investigators said Monday.
- Courtesy photo Contra Costa Times
- Oral Stuart’s parents died knowing the U.S. Marines considered their son a deserter. The Des Moines Marine – known to friends and family as “Buddy” – didn’t desert the Marine Corps in 1974; he was murdered.
March 20, 2012 | Fayette Observer
Cold case investigators identify body found in 1974 as missing Iowa Marine
LONG BEACH, Calif. – A body found naked in 1974 at a California condominium complex is a U.S. Marine from Iowa who had been listed as a deserter from Camp Pendleton, authorities said Monday. The man known for more than 37 years as “John Doe #155″ is Oral Stuart Jr. of Des Moines, Long Beach police said in a statement.
Human remains found in ditch could be one of two missing Iowa women, police say
March 19, 2012 | The Gazette
Human remains discovered by children riding their bikes in rural southeastern Iowa could be those of one of two missing women from Mount Pleasant, including a 24-year-old mother who vanished last year amid suggestions of foul play, investigators said Monday.
Investigators are looking into whether the remains are those of either Jackie Leigh Douthart, who disappeared in May, or Elizabeth Syperda, who vanished in 2000 at age 22, Mount Pleasant Police Chief Terry Sammons said.
Chief: Remains could be 1 of 2 missing women
March 19, 2012 | Quad-City Times
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Human remains discovered by children riding their bikes in rural southeastern Iowa could be those of one of two missing women from Mount Pleasant, including a 24-year-old mother who vanished last year amid suggestions of foul play, investigators said Monday.
Investigators are looking into whether the remains are those of either Jackie Leigh Douthart, who disappeared in May, or Elizabeth Syperda, who vanished in 2000 at age 22, Mount Pleasant Police Chief Terry Sammons said. The women are the only two missing persons in Henry County, he said.
Psychic helps motivate author to finish book
March 11, 2012 | Athens Banner-Herald
When T.A. Powell took the challenge of writing a book about the 45-year-old unsolved murder of a federal agent in South Georgia, she reached an impasse — but then she heard from the dead man. The connection with the dead came through a psychic. That is the source, she said, that awakened her desire to finish the book.
WOOD SEARCH: The family of a missing woman continues the search
February 29, 2012 | WHO-TV Channel 13 Des Moines
Seven months after Warren County officials were first called to the burning home of Bill and Kay Wood, investigators say they now have more questions than answers. Kay is still missing.
Second arrest made in Jordan Peterson death
February 22, 2012 | The Sioux City Journal
TUCSON, Ariz. — A second man was identified and arrested Wednesday in connection with the slaying of a former Sioux City man whose remains were found in Pinal County, Ariz., last month, police said. Tucson police arrested Reed J. Marrone, 18, and booked him into Pima County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Jordan “JP” Peterson, said Sgt. Matt Ronstadt, a Tucson Police Department spokesman.
Death penalty is costly and ineffective no matter the case
February 16, 2012 | The Daily Iowan Editorial Board
While one might think that killing a prisoner would be less expensive than housing the same person for remainder of her or his life, exactly the opposite is true. In New Jersey, the death penalty was found to costtaxpayers an additional $253 million over a 20-year period. In federal court death-penalty cases, the average cost is nearly eight times that of a murder case not seeking the death penalty. The total cost of Indiana’s death penalty was 38 percent greater than comparable cases not carrying out the capital sentence.
Feb. 14 heartbreaking for family
February 14, 2012 | Keokuk Daily Gate City
When Dolores (Toni Martinez) Hornung, 48, of Keokuk was found murdered on Feb. 14, 1999, in her Keokuk home, it changed Valentine’s Day forever for her loved ones.
One-time suspect in unsolved Cedar Rapids homicide dies in prison
January 17, 2012 | The Gazette
FORT MADISON – A convicted rapist once considered a prime suspect in the 1979 unsolved stabbing death of Cedar Rapids teen Michelle Martinko died this week in the Iowa State Penitentiary Hospice Care Unit, where he was serving a life sentence for an unrelated sexual crime.
Dennis Lee McKee, 61, died a natural death from metastatic colon cancer on Sunday, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections. His sentence for first degree sexual abuse out of Linn County began Aug. 6, 1980.
Denver couple create victims assistance group after son’s unsolved slaying in 1975
January 10, 2012 | Denver Post
Initially, a coroner said Guy Morton’s bones were those of a young Latina woman, setting off a review of missing-female case files. Two hunters had found the skeleton beneath a pile of rocks in a desert area 2 miles west of Interstate 17 and less than a mile north of New River in Maricopa County, Ariz., on Nov. 13, 1975. A broken knife was in the rib cage.
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