The years spanned more than a century — from 1886 to 2013 — but five days this month marked a dozen departures from many loved one’s lives.

Rev. George Haddock

Rev. George Haddock

On August 3, 1886, prohibitionist preacher George C. Haddock was shot dead in Sioux City, Iowa, after leaving his buggy at a local stable.

Just four years earlier, Iowa voters had passed the “Clark Law” to make liquor illegal in the state, but with over 75 saloons, breweries and gambling houses in the frontier city, many Sioux Cityans weren’t willing to let growing livelihoods go down without a fight.

Several people witnessed the shooting, and the first murder trial for the alleged trigger man, John Arensdorf, ended with a hung jury. Jurors found Arensdorf not guilty in a second trial, and after the acquittal, Arensdorf and jury members celebrated together by going out to drink.

On August 3, 1978, Clara E. Schiele, 90, was mugged and assaulted while climbing the front steps to her Davenport home. Schiele struck her head on the concrete steps and later died from a skull fracture and internal injuries.

When the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Schiele’s murder was one of approximately 150 cases listed on the Cold Case Unit’s new website as those the DCI hoped to solve using latest advancements in DNA technology.

Diane Courbat

Diane Courbat

In the early morning hours on Tuesday, August 3, 1993, someone shot foster care worker Diane Courbat in the head as she walked through the Cedar River Exchange Park in Waterloo.

The 34-year-old mother of two also cared for her young granddaughter, and underwent brain surgery that same day. She died three days later at University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City.

Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of Courbat’s killer.

The Taylor homeCourtesy photo Google Street View
The 2223 East Maple St. home in Des Moines where John and Janet Taylor were stabbed to death.

John Taylor, 54, and his 52-year-old wife, Janet, were found dead in their burning 2223 E. Maple St. Des Moines home on August 3, 1999.

Firefighters found the couple’s bodies about 2:30 a.m.; both had been stabbed to death and the fire set in efforts to cover up the crime.

John Taylor worked as a custodian with the Iowa Department of Transportation in Ames. Janet Taylor had recently retired from her accounts payable position at NationsBank.

John and Janet Taylor’s three children still search for answers in the unsolved double homicide.

Dale Robinson

Dale Robinson

Eighty-four-year-old Dale R. Robinson disappeared from Moville on August 3, 2013, after surveillance video showed him at the Argosy Casino on Sioux City’s riverfront.

Robinson, who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease, didn’t gamble, but would often pick up his wife, Betty, from the riverboat.

A December 13, 2013 Huffington Post video, “Missing in America,” featured Robinson’s case shortly after the Missing Persons of American website ran a December 10 story about the Moville man’s unsolved disappearance.

Family members established a community Facebook page with hopes of finding answers to Robinson’s whereabouts.

Njus

Camille Njus

Camille Louise Njus, a 20-year-old Grinnell College student and Department of Transportation intern, left a northern Des Moines hair salon on August 4, 1978, and headed for the Greyhound bus station with plans to pay a weekend visit to family members.

She never made it to the bus terminal.

On Wednesday, October 18th — 74 days after her disappearance — a city employee discovered Njus’s partially clad body buried beneath some brush and logs near the Des Moines River in a deserted area known as the Flint Access.

Njus graduated from Grinnell High School in 1976, receiving honors for her scholastic abilities in music, prose, poetry, speech and drama. She played clarinet in the band and held several lead parts in high school musicals.

Around 11:40 p.m. August 5, 2002, Lewis M. Glenn was shot and killed in a Davenport church’s parking lot just five days before his 29th birthday.

In addition to his parents and brothers, Glenn left behind three young sons.

Lynn Schuller

Lynn Schuller

When 25-year-old Lynn Louise Schuller went missing from her Cedar Rapids home August 6, 1972, police suspected murder from the beginning, but, without a body, didn’t feel they had a strong enough case to make an arrest.

Schuller, the mother of a young son at the time she went missing, was barely a teen when she’d met Keith Schuller — six years her senior — while the couple’s families vacationed in northern Minnesota.

A long-distance relationship culminated in Lynn and Keith’s marriage on Sept. 18, 1965, and by all outward appearances seemed like a happy couple until 1971 when Keith announced he wanted a divorce. Lynn refused to break up their new family and refused to grant the divorce.

After Lynn’s highly publicized 1972 disappearance and her husband’s arrest for refusing to help officials search nearby woods (the charge was later dismissed for lack of evidence), Keith Schuller filed for a divorce seven times in Linn County District Court, but each time dropped the divorce petition when it became apparent he’d have to testify about circumstances surrounding his wife’s disappearance.

Keith Schuller finally went to another Iowa county to file divorce papers; a Dubuque County District Court granted his petition in July 1976. Less than two years later, the same court granted Keith Schuller’s petition to have his wife declared legally dead. The decree listed the couple’s toddler as the sole heir of Lynn’s life insurance benefits, with Keith the conservator. Keith left Iowa and went on to become the Payette County (Idaho) coroner.

Dale Strassburger

Dale Strassburger

Dale Webster Strassburger, a 37-year-old machinist who lived with his parents in Davenport, Iowa, while employed at the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Illinois, was last seen on his way home from work at 12:15 a.m. on August 6, 1982.

He never arrived home and has never been heard from again.

His car was found abandoned on the Le Claire (Iowa) bridge over the Mississippi River on Interstate 80, about 15 miles from his home.

Officials searched the river and its surrounding areas but turned up no signs of Strassburger.

George Mattern

George Mattern

Des Moines police patrolman George Mattern, 27, was shot in the abdomen late Tuesday night, August 7, 1917, while patrolling his beat. He died eight months later from complications caused by the bullet wound.

According to a Des Moines News article dated Wednesday, August 8, 1917, Mattern was shot in a running gun fight with a man who’d attempted to hold up the proprietor of the Temp Bar located at 316 Locust Street. Mattern, a two-year police department veteran, was immediately taken to Mercy Hospital where he underwent surgery. By Wednesday morning officials said he was somewhat improved but still in serious condition.

Officer Mattern passed away on April 12, 1918, from injuries received in the August 7, 1917 shooting.

Terence Currington

Terence Currington

Terence Dwayne Currington, 20, died Thursday night, August 7, 2003, just six blocks from his Waterloo home after stopping his car to chat with friends.

Currington, who lived at 1019 Adams Street, had stopped in the middle of the 400 block of Adams Street about 11:30 p.m. to visit with 16-year-old Terry Hoskins and one of Hoskins’ friends when another vehicle pulled up alongside Currington’s car. Occupants in the two vehicles shouted at one another before shots rang out.

Currington’s car traveled a short distance down the block before hitting a tree on the parking strip at 415 Adams Street. Currington was the second of three cousins shot and killed within a two-year period.

More information about each victim may be found by clicking on the respective hyperlink or the victim’s photo.

Denise Fraley

On January 25, 2011, in , by Jody Ewing
Denise Fraley

Denise Fraley

Denise Ordene Fraley

Missing Person – Presumed Homicide

Denise Ordene Fraley
30 YOA
DOB: April 4, 1952
Weight: 115 lbs.
Height: 5′ 04″
Incident Type: Involuntary disappearance
Missing From: 107 24th Ave. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
NCIC Number: M-141931927
Missing Since: September 12, 1982

Linn CountyLinn County in Iowa
Cedar Rapids in Linn County
Cedar Rapids in Linn County

Denise Fraley was last seen alive in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the early morning hours on Sunday, September 12, 1982.

Denise and her husband, David Fraley, had played in a band Saturday night at a private Cedar Rapids party. Once the couple left the event, Denise was never seen alive again.

David Fraley never reported his wife as missing. And, for more than a month, he deterred his wife’s family from filing any missing persons report.

On Thursday, March 19, 1992, Cedar Rapids Gazette writer Jeff Burnham, as part of the Gazette’s “Murdered, Missing, Unsolved” week-long series, wrote extensively about three Iowa women — Jane Wakefield, Lynn Schuller and Denise Fraley — who were strangers in life but became connected in what probably is death.

The following is an excerpt from the story in which Burnham focused solely on Denise Fraley’s life and what happened in the months following her still unsolved disappearance.


The Cedar Rapids Gazette

MURDERED MISSING UNSOLVED: Police suspect 3 killed but lack bodies

By Jeff Burnham | Gazette staff writer
March 19, 1992
crg-3-19-92-fraley-schuller-wakefieldCourtesy the Cedar Rapids Gazette
On March 19, 1992, Gazette writer Jeff Burnham chronicled the cases of three Iowa women who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. All three women are presumed dead. Download the two-part article in PDF format.
Denise Fraley (excerpt)

Don’t mess with the Mafia.

That warning, issued in the shadow of Denise Fraley’s disappearance nearly a decade ago, kept her out-of-state relatives from coming to Cedar Rapids in search of answers for six months.

Heeding that warning, made by the missing woman’s husband, 29-year-old Dave Fraley, is a decision that Denise Fraley’s family has regretted ever since.

Her sister and parents are convinced the Mafia had nothing to do with Denise Fraley’s disappearance. They fear the 30-year-old woman was murdered. And they often wonder if the six-month delay cost them the chance to prove what really happened.

Born and raised in northwest Missouri, Denise Stark was a cheerleader in high school and graduated as valedictorian of her class. She came to Cedar Rapids in the early 1970s to live with her grandmother. That’s when Denise met Dave Fraley, and the two were married in 1975 in Urbana, his hometown.

A daughter, Haley Jo, was born in 1979. Denise Fraley stayed home to raise the girl while Dave worked as a pest control technician. Both played in bands, often with Denise singing and Dave playing piano.

The two used illegal drugs, according to court records filed later. The judge found that Dave was a drug courier. The judge, based on statements made by Dave, also found that Denise was a drug courier.

Violent episodes were scattered through the marriage, according to a 21-page ruling issued by a judge during a custody battle after Denise Fraley disappeared. There were two documented episodes where she entered a local hospital after her husband had tied her up and beaten her.

The judge’s ruling also says police were called to the Fraley home in June 1981 after Dave Fraley threatened his wife with a gun while he was drunk. Dave later said that in all of the violent episodes, he was merely defending himself from his aggressive wife. But the judge wrote the evidence indicated Dave was lying.

The marriage deteriorated to the point that Dave Fraley filed for divorce in May 1982. Denise Fraley responded by asking for custody of the daughter, then 2-1/2 years old, and a restraining order preventing Dave from making any contact with them. A judge granted the restraining order after Denise cited recent violence by Dave, including threats that he would kill her.

The two had been trying to work out their differences when they spent Labor Day Weekend 1982 with Denise Fraley’s sister in northwest Missouri. That was the last time her sister saw or heard from Denise.

The band the Fraleys were in played at a private party in Cedar Rapids the evening of Sept. 11, 1982, after Dave Fraley had made arrangements to provide the music. He later said Denise disappeared that night, but he gave differing accounts about where he last saw her — whether at the party or back at home. In a deposition related to the divorce, he explained those differences by saying he had been drinking and may have been smoking marijuana.

More than a month went by before Denise Fraley’s family in Missouri had any idea that Denise was missing. Finally, Denise’s mother called the Fraleys in mid-October in hopes of talking to Denise. The phone was answered by Dave Fraley, who hung up when Nadine Stark asked for Denise, Stark later said. She then called the Cedar Rapids police, who sent an officer to the house to see if anything was amiss. It’s unclear what transpired when the officer spoke to Dave Fraley — he declined to comment when contacted by The Gazette and police files on the case were not available.

Jane Wakefield, Lynn Schuller, Denise Fraley mapsThese maps show where Denise Fraley vanished in Sept. 1982, where Jane Wakefield disappeared in Sept. 1975 and where Lynn Schuller went missing in Aug. 1972. All three women were in volatile marriages with divorce proceedings pending. Detectives in each case have identified a prime murder suspect, but lack of solid evidence — particularly the lack of a body — have made it tough to prove murder. (Maps courtesy Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Nadine Stark officially reported Denise Fraley as missing on Oct. 18, 1982. Within a week, Denise’s sister, Linda Plowman, said Dave Fraley called and explained that Denise had tried to run off with several thousand dollars in drug money that was not hers and that he feared the Mafia was looking for her.

Fraley warned the family that the Mafia wouldn’t take kindly if Denise’s relatives traveled to Cedar Rapids looking for answers, Plowman said. And so, for six months, they heeded Dave Fraley’s warning and stayed away. Meanwhile, an investigation by Cedar Rapids police had stalled.

Finally, Linda Plowman decided she didn’t care if the Mafia was involved — though she never believed that anyway. In March 1983, she and her mother made the first of many trips to Cedar Rapids in search of answers.

They convinced police to reopen the investigation. They hired their own private investigator. They also hired an attorney and entered the divorce proceeding to obtain custody of Haley Jo.

While the custody issue was pending, the Plowmans obtained temporary custody of the child for about six months. During that time, they later said in court affidavits, Haley Jo told them she had seen her mother tied to rocks and thrown into a river.

Child development experts later interviewed the girl and said her statements should be taken seriously. But they could not conclude whether she was speaking of something she had actually seen or if the story came from watching the movie “Poltergeist.”

The police investigation again stalled, but not before detective Robert Manchester said he believed there was a “50-50″ chance that Denise Fraley was murdered. He even named the likely killer.

Through the various investigations, Denise’s family started learning that Dave Fraley had given several conflicting explanations about what had happened to Denise. While some were told that Denise may have been harmed by drug-dealing thugs, some were told by Dave that Denise had simply left to further her singing career.

The custody battle continued for several months. Included was a deposition by Dave Fraley that said Denise called him two days after the party, said she had been “ripped off” in a drug deal and told him to take care of Haley Jo. He said he hadn’t seen her since.

He explained the other accounts by saying he had speculated to some people about what might have happened to Denise.

In the same testimony, Dave Fraley said he had been kidnapped and forced to take a lie detector test by individuals with the Mafia who wanted to find Denise Fraley and the money she had allegedly taken. But he also indicated he wasn’t particularly interested in helping police find those thugs or in helping find Denise.

The divorce was granted in January 1984. The custody battle ended about the same time when Juvenile Judge Brent Harstad awarded custody of Haley Jo to Dave Fraley.

Copyright © 1992 The Cedar Rapids Gazette. All rights reserved.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Denise Fraley’s unsolved disappearance, please contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010, e-mail dciinfo@dps.state.ia.us, or contact the Cedar Rapids Police Department at (319) 286-5375.

Sources:

 

Jane Wakefield

On January 25, 2011, in , by Jody Ewing
Jane Ellen Wakefield

Jane Ellen Wakefield (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Jane Ellen Wakefield

Missing Person, Presumed Homicide

Jane Ellen Wakefield
Age at Report: 26
Date of Birth: Nov. 19, 1948
Maiden Name: Hallberg
Missing From: Iowa City, IA
Johnson County
Height: 5′ 2″
Weight: 112
Dental: Missing Tooth #14
NCIC Number: M-703329643
Last Seen Alive: September 6, 1975
Reported Missing: September 8, 1975

Case summary compiled by Jody Ewing

Jane Ellen Wakefield, a 26-year-old schoolteacher in North Liberty, Iowa, disappeared without a trace from her Iowa City mobile home sometime between late Saturday night, Sept. 6, 1975, and early Sunday morning, Sept. 7, 1975.

Wakefield, who was in divorce proceedings with her husband, John Wakefield, had spent Saturday on a cross-country bicycle ride with a group of friends. According to a Cedar Rapids Gazette article published March 19, 1992, Wakefield told her friends she had to get back for an appointment. A neighbor talked with Wakefield later that afternoon and said nothing seemed unusual.

crg-3-19-92-fraley-schuller-wakefieldCourtesy the Cedar Rapids Gazette
On March 19, 1992, Gazette writer Jeff Burnham chronicled the cases of three Iowa women who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. All three women are presumed dead. Download the two-part article in PDF format.

Wakefield had filed for divorce six months earlier and moved from the couple’s apartment into a mobile home at Bon-Aire in Iowa City. She had recently become romantically involved with another man, but found her divorce held up over disagreements on how she and John Wakefield would divide two businesses he owned.

Late night on Saturday, Sept. 6, neighbors recalled hearing someone yelling or screaming, but weren’t sure where the screams were coming from. They assumed the yelling came from a nearby home’s loud party.

When a friend paid a visit to Wakefield’s mobile home Sunday, no one answered the door and the friend left.

“Obviously, between Saturday night and Sunday morning, she disappeared,” Iowa City Police Department Capt. Patrick Harney told the Gazette.

When Wakefield didn’t report Monday morning to her teaching position at Penn Elementary School in North Liberty and school principal Larry Sharp couldn’t reach her, school officials called Bon-Aire. The mobile home park manager contacted Wakefield’s boyfriend, and the two went together to Wakefield’s home.

The Gazette’s Jeff Burnham wrote:

Outside, they found her bicycle locked to the yard lamp, and her Fiat in its parking space. Inside, they found her purse and other belongings, but no sign of Jane Wakefield.

The two then contacted Iowa City police. Inside the mobile home, detectives found everything in order, and evidence suggesting she’d recently showered.

In the beginning, police thought Wakefield may have left with a “Jesus People” cult that had been camping near Coralville Lake. Wakefield’s friends and family members told the Gazette Jane was “too much on top of things” to join a cult, a belief confirmed after a search of the cult’s latest camp in Huntsville, Arkansas, turned up nothing to tie the teacher to the group.

On Sept. 10, 1975, Iowa City police drained two city lagoons near the victim’s trailer court but uncovered no evidence pertaining to the case.

These maps show where Jane Wakefield disappeared in Sept. 1975, where Denise Fraley vanished in Sept. 1982 and where Lynn Schuller went missing in Aug. 1972. All three women were in volatile marriages with divorce proceedings pending. Detectives are certain all three were murdered, and though they’ve long had a prime suspect in each case, have never been able to find enough evidence to convince a prosecutor to charge any of the suspects with murder. (Maps courtesy Cedar Rapids Gazette, March 19, 1992)
Informant: Body cremated and scattered along I-80

Four months after Wakefield vanished, detectives got a break when a confidential informant — a friend of the primary suspect — told police that an individual he knew had admitted to murdering Wakefield, cremating her body, and spreading her remains along a ditch on I-80 near Iowa City.

The suspect had gone so far as attempting to redirect suspicion toward Jane Wakefield’s new boyfriend.

According to the CI, on Sept. 6, 1975, the individual had rented a car from the Cedar Rapids Airport that matched the one driven by Wakefield’s boyfriend. The individual had then driven to Jane’s mobile home late that night and choked her to death with his bare hands.

He’d put her body in the rental car’s trunk and driven to an Iowa City apartment building — the same building where John Wakefield resided.

In its week-long MURDERED, MISSING, UNSOLVED March 1992 series, the Gazette reported that, according to the CI, the person then placed large quantities of charcoal into the trash incinerator, lit it, and dumped [Jane's] body inside.

Wrote the Gazette’s Burnham:

After the fire was out, the individual swept the contents of the incinerator into a garbage can. The individual claimed he waited until the next night, drove onto I-80 near Iowa City, pulled to the shoulder and spread the contents of the garbage can along the ditch.

Though police declined to identify the informant, they did confirm he was friends with the suspect and that he’d passed a lie detector test.

A series of lie detector tests narrowed the list of suspects down to one, who refused to submit to a polygraph and questioned the validity of such tests.

In January 1976, armed with search warrants for the apartment building, the trash incinerator and the two businesses run by John Wakefield, police went to an Iowa City tavern where the suspect worked, and then searched the Iowa City apartment house and a billiard parlor, both of which John Wakefield managed.

Police sifted ashes from the incinerator of the apartment in question and sent them to the state crime lab in Des Moines.

Reported the Gazette:

Police detectives and agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation seized miscellaneous pieces of bone debris, a piece of metal that appeared to be a tooth filling, and a small, white chip of bonelike material.

Officials also seized five vacuum cleaners from the property, and weren’t about to give up.

The following week, some 20 detectives — on their hands and knees — searched several miles of ditches north of Iowa City along I-80.

Lab analysis of bone fragments found in the incinerator were inconclusive.

One individual remained the prime suspect in Wakefield’s disappearance, but never faced charges due to insufficient evidence and forensic limitations from that era.

Although the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Missing Person Information Clearinghouse lists Wakefield’s incident type as Endangered / physical — meaning Wakefield is missing under circumstances indicating her physical safety is in danger — detectives have long believed homicide played a role in her disappearance.

A Cedar Rapids Gazette article dated Jan. 31, 2002, included Wakefield’s case in a sidebar titled, “Unsolved murder cases.”

About Jane Wakefield

Jane Ellen (Hallberg) Wakefield was born Nov. 19, 1948, and grew up near Minneapolis.

In 1966, she enrolled as a freshman at Morningside College in Sioux City.

The next spring, she met and fell in love with John Wakefield, a graduate student in business administration at the University of Iowa. The couple married in September 1967 and Jane transferred to the U of I.

She graduated in 1970 and taught in two area school districts before accepting a job at Penn Elementary School in North Liberty, Iowa, in August 1975.

Jane vanished the following month, and is presumed deceased.

Information Needed

Anyone with information concerning Jane Wakefield’s disappearance is asked to contact the Iowa City Police Department at 319-356-5275 or Lt. Sid Jackson at 319-356-5276. You may also email the Investigations Division at investigations@iowa-city.org.

Information may be submitted on an anonymous basis.

Sources:

 

Copyright © 2014 Iowa Cold Cases, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Lynn Schuller

On January 15, 2011, in , by Jody Ewing
Lynn Schuller

Lynn Schuller (Courtesy the Gazette)

Lynn Louise (Tickner) Schuller

Homicide (presumed murdered but body never found – legally declared dead)

1992-3-19-lynn-schuller-clip
A short excerpt from Gazette writer Jeff Burnham’s March 19, 1992 story. More page downloads available below.

Lynn Louise Schuller
25 YOA
DOB: Dec. 5, 1946
3100 30th St. Dr. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Went Missing: August 6, 1972

 

 

 

A Foreword Note to Commenters

This case summary (like others on this site) was compiled based on statements from law enforcement officials, past and recent news media articles, and other sources. The Cedar Rapids Gazette (in particular, Jeff Burnham’s in-depth “three take” story published March 19, 1992) proved invaluable, along with other articles cited in the “Sources.”

Nowhere in this summary does it allege that Keith Schuller killed his wife, Lynn. Nor does it allege Mr. Schuller fed her body parts to a pet alligator or snakes. In fact, the summary’s second paragraph distinctly references the suspicions and local folklore intertwined in nearly every archived story about Lynn Schuller’s unsolved disappearance and suspected murder.

In response to recent commenters who’ve left volatile personal attacks against us for daring to repeat info clearly in the public domain, you are not the only ones who “know” or “knew” Mr. Schuller. Ironically, the very first person who ever left a comment on this page knew the Schullers, too. (They even bravely submitted a first and last name with the comment.) They’d been told Keith lined the basement of his home with a plastic drop cloth, murdered her and chopped up her body, and then fed it to the hogs he owned or had access to. The person wrote more about what Keith (yes, allegedly) had done with Lynn’s skull, and said Keith’s ex-wife (his 2nd wife, who divorced him) was “much too frightened to ever testify.”

Whether this woman was fed to an alligator, snakes or hogs is all hearsay, but it’s a known FACT that detectives did indeed get a search warrant and seized several evidentiary items from the Schuller home. State investigators — formerly called the BCI, now the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) — were also called in to help.

Newspaper reporters do not make up stories as they go along; as is referenced in the Cedar Rapids Gazette articles, information they published was provided to them by law enforcement officials, investigators, and the Schullers’ family members and close friends familiar with the Schullers’ crumbling relationship and marriage.

This website’s purpose — in addition to celebrating loved ones whose lives mattered to many — has also been to invite thoughtful, civilized discussion with hopes that someone who knows something will come forward and provide investigators with that one small detail that might just help solve a crime. While we are not a law enforcement agency, we are a registered and incorporated Iowa non-profit organization and have shared tips (and sometimes quite detailed information provided to us by our readers, including eyewitness reports) with officials from the local to state to federal level for nearly a decade.

The vitriolic nature of these personal attacks on Lynn’s page are a first for this site. We’ve always encouraged discussion and debate (“where little but important details and names” often surface), but conversations have generally remained mature, civilized, and respectful. 

Our readers come from various socioeconomic and educational backgrounds, so in efforts to help those who skimmed, I’ve included some additional “text photos” — snippets from published articles where one may click to read the original published newspaper report. These snippets link to the very same references we’d already cited in the “Sources” list. 

I suspect Mr. Schuller — or any teacher, for that matter — would hang his head in shame at the egregious and crass comments left here by former students.

We at ICC take pride in researching and writing case summaries. These are not news articles; they are “summaries” (i.e. overviews) of unsolved cases based on collected articles, interviews, research, and info voluntarily provided to us by our readers. Our cross-referenced database (cases listed by city, county, year, etc.) was designed to in turn provide a valuable research tool to other writers and the general public. We’ve also partnered with a number of law enforcement agencies to ensure readers have access to case information. Two examples include Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers (see the Cold Cases tab), and the Cedar Rapids Police Department Investigative Division Cold Case Unit, whose web page links directly to our site “To view all Unsolved Homicides in Iowa.” For one to publicly leave a libelous comment here by calling ICC a “bogus” site serves no other purpose than to insult other readers’ intelligence — readers who sensibly take time to research the facts.  

In 2013 alone, the ICC website had 488,159 visitors and 2,189,694 page views. We put in long unpaid hours trying to make a difference by ensuring these victims’ stories are told and their unsolved cases not forgotten. We reach out to provide comfort and hope — rather than wishing that someone with whom we disagree “gets herpes.”    

Finally, I would like to extend a heartfelt, personal thank you to “Kim,” an astute reader who used facts, tact and diplomacy in numerous efforts to restore public decorum in an online comment forum normally populated with mature adults. Kim went above and beyond the call of duty to further explain the facts in this case and how information is cultivated, even as those who’d never read the source reports turned on her as well. So, my sincere thanks to you, Kim, for investing the time and energy you did in efforts to restore basic respect and decency here. 

To the others: Civilized disagreements and debates are perfectly acceptable, but immature 6th grade name-calling and juvenile, baseless attacks will not be further tolerated.

Jody Ewing, Iowa Cold Cases Founder


Case Summary compiled by Jody Ewing

When Keith Schuller reported his wife Lynn Schuller missing in August 1972, police suspected murder from the very beginning.

Linn CountyLinn County in Iowa
Cedar Rapids in Linn County
Cedar Rapids in Linn County

More than four decades later, they still believe Schuller is responsible for her death, but don’t ever expect to find her body. Why? The suspicions surrounding her disappearance sounded so much like that of local folklore that even police were reluctant to acknowledge Keith Schuller could have committed such an abhorrent act.

The tale began in a Minneapolis suburb, where Lynn Tickner had been born and raised. Barely a teen, she met Keith Schuller — six years her senior — while the two families were vacationing in northern Minnesota. A long-distance relationship culminated in Lynn and Keith’s marriage on Sept. 18, 1965.

The two made their home in Cedar Rapids, and Lynn gave birth the couple’s first and only child in 1969. By all outward appearances, they seemed like a happy couple until 1971, when Keith abruptly announced he wanted a divorce. Lynn, however, wasn’t ready to break up their new family and refused to grant the divorce.

“She always indicated to me that she was hopeful they would resolve it because of the child,” Lynn’s mother, Eloise Tickner, told the Cedar Rapids Gazette in a March 19, 1992 interview with Gazette reporter Jeff Burnham.

Keith continued to press for a divorce, and in 1972, Lynn wrote a letter to her mother stating that Keith had threatened to kill her.

crg-3-19-92-fraley-schuller-wakefieldCourtesy the Cedar Rapids Gazette
On March 19, 1992, Gazette writer Jeff Burnham chronicled the cases of three Iowa women who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. All three women are presumed dead. Download the two-part article in PDF

Keith owned a 6-foot-long alligator, Pogo, and two pet snakes. He’d also served as a medic in the Army for three years.

“You never believe anything like that is going to happen in your own family,” Eloise Tickner told the Gazette, “So I threw the letter away.”

A few months later, while vacationing at the same lake where their daughter and Keith had met, the Tickners received a call from their son-in-law. Lynn had disappeared, he told them, and he didn’t know where she was.

The Perfect Crime?

Harry and Eloise Tickner immediately headed south for Cedar Rapids, where Keith Schuller told them he’d last seen Lynn while she was sleeping. He said that around 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, 1972 [sic- that date was a Sunday] that he and their 3-year-old son had left the home and returned about five hours later to discover both Lynn and her bicycle were gone.

Courtesy Cedar Rapids Gazette, March 19, 1992
These maps, published by the Gazette, show where Lynn Schuller went missing in Aug. 1972, where Jane Wakefield disappeared in Sept. 1975 and where Denise Fraley vanished in Sept. 1982. All three women were in volatile marriages with divorce proceedings pending. Detectives are certain all three were murdered, and though they’ve long had a prime suspect in each case, have never been able to find enough evidence to convince a prosecutor to charge any of the suspects with murder.

Schuller said he’d decided then to take his son swimming at Bever Park. Before they’d gone, he said, he’d left a note for Lynn.

The “swim” was short-lived, and Schuller and his young son returned home about an hour later. This time, however, he said Lynn’s bicycle was there but that she was missing.

The home showed no signs of forced entry and nothing was disturbed. Lynn’s purse and all her belongings were still there.

Later that same day, Keith Schuller had contacted his wife’s parents — along with several others — to report his wife was missing. Those he’d called arrived at the couple’s home and helped conduct searches in and around the surrounding area.

Keith Schuller Arrested for Refusing to Help Officers in Search

The following afternoon — approx. 24 hours after Keith Schuller said he first realized something was wrong — he called the Linn County Sheriff’s Office to report Lynn missing. Dozens of volunteers helped conduct a more extensive search, while detectives got a search warrant and seized several items from the Schuller home. State investigators were also called in to help.

Keith Schuller was asked to assist in the investigation — particularly to help search the nearby woods for his wife’s body — but he refused to do so and was arrested for refusing to assist an officer. Schuller said he’d refused because he’d already checked out the woods himself. The charge was later dismissed for lack of evidence.

Infrared aerial photos were taken of the home’s surrounding areas to determine if the ground had recently been dug up, but they produced no positive results.

Lynn’s parents offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to Lynn’s body or her whereabouts, but no one came forward. Everyone seemed to hold the same opinion — that Keith Schuller had killed his wife, chopped up her body, and then fed the pieces to Pogo and the snakes.

Multiple Divorce Papers Filed

Keith Schuller continued with efforts to obtain a divorce — this time on the grounds that his wife had deserted him. When Lynn’s parents hired an attorney to represent their daughter, Schuller dropped the case. He would file again and again — a total of seven times in Linn County District Court — but each time when it became apparent he’d have to testify about circumstances surrounding his wife’s disappearance, he would drop the case.

Without his in-laws’ knowledge, Keith Schuller finally went to Dubuque County District Court to file the papers; the divorce was granted in July 1976.

Less than two years later on March 20, 1978, a Dubuque District Court judge granted Schuller’s request to have Lynn Schuller declared legally dead. The decree listed their son as the sole heir of Lynn’s life insurance benefits, with Keith the conservator.

Keith would later marry a woman he’d met in Cedar Rapids before his wife’s unexplained disappearance, but that relationship also ended in a divorce.

Schuller and Pogo head to Idaho where Schuller teaches middle school students, obsesses about death

Schuller eventually left Iowa — taking the 6-foot-long alligator with him — and moved to Fruitland, Idaho, where he taught middle school students for 25 years. A 1992 article in the Gazette said “Pogo” had become a favorite of Schuller’s students, and that Schuller had just recently been featured on a local television news program.

One of Schuller’s former students vividly remembers his science teacher from the mid-90s.

On Friday, August 2, 2013, the student responded to an “Ask Reddit” post titled “What is the scariest unsolved mystery you have ever heard?” The student responded, “My 6th grade science teacher!”

keith-schuller-argus-observerCourtesy photo Independent-Enterprise 
In January 2008, Keith Schuller received the Fruitland (ID) Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement award.

According to the former student, Schuller was seemingly obsessed with death.

After leaving his teaching position, Schuller went on to become the Payette County coroner. Payette County is part of the Idaho and Ontario, Oregon, Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 22,623 as of the 2010 census; the county seat and largest city is Payette, ID.

“Although he was our science teacher, all I remember him talking about was deadly diseases (the hantavirus was a favorite of his), deadly animals (he had a pet gila monster), and deadly gasses (he talked about carbon monoxide poisoning a lot),” the student said.

Schuller had lived right next door to the school, and would sometimes let the students come over and feed Pogo the pet alligator, they said.

The Aug. 2 Reddit post linked to Lynn Schuller’s page here on Iowa Cold Cases, and by 10:15 that night, nearly 12,000 people had clicked the link to read about her still unsolved disappearance/murder.

One Reddit commenter said the case sounded like a story from a “Goosebumps” book.

About Lynn Schuller

Lynn Louise (Tickner) Schuller was born Dec. 5, 1946 in Hennepin, Minnesota, to Harry D. Tickner and Florence Eloise (Cook) Tickner. She was raised in a Minneapolis suburb.

Barely a teen, the 13-year-old Lynn met 19-year-old Keith Raymond Schuller while the two families were vacationing in northern Minnesota, and began a relationship that culminated in their marriage on September 18, 1965 when Lynn was 18 and Keith, 24.

In 1969, Lynn gave birth to the couple’s son.

Keith Schuller reported his wife missing on August 6, 1972. (Media reports listed her age as 26, though Lynn Schuller was actually 25 at the time she went missing.)

Keith Schuller then filed for divorce a total of seven times in Linn County District Court without success. Without his in-laws’ knowledge, Schuller finally went to Dubuque County District Court to file the papers, and the divorce was granted in July 1976.

Less than two years later on March 20, 1978, a Dubuque District Court judge granted Schuller’s request to have Lynn Schuller declared legally dead. The decree listed the couple’s young son as the sole heir of Lynn’s life insurance benefits, with Keith the conservator.

Information Needed

The Cedar Rapids Police Department currently has two volunteer investigators who work exclusively on unsolved homicides. These investigators work closely with other investigators from both the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, and other law enforcement agencies.

The current investigators assigned to the Cedar Rapids Cold Case Unit are J.D. Smith, a retired Agent for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and Jeff Mellgren, a retired Captain from the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

Anyone with information concerning Lynn Schuller’s unsolved disappearance and/or suspected homicide is asked to contact one of the following individuals or agencies:

You may now also report this information online or by sending a text message to “CRIMES” (274637) with the keyword “5227.” (See http://www.tipsoft.com/index.aspx for more information about TipSoft.)

Sources and References:

 

Copyright © 2014 Iowa Cold Cases, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Linn County

On October 21, 2010, in , by Jody Ewing
Linn County in Iowa

Linn County in Iowa

Cold Cases in Linn County, Iowa

*Please Note: The cases listed below are within Linn County but may fall under a city police department’s jurisdiction. They are included here for cross-reference purposes. More specific information may be found on each victim’s individual page.

Homicide
Nathaniel Carnagy
39 YOA
Marion, IA
Linn County
April 4, 1847

Nathaniel Carnagy, 39, was brutally attacked by James Reed on March 20, 1847 in Linn County and died on April 4 of a skull fracture. Reed was tried and found not guilty. Carnagy’s murder was the first in the history of Linn County.

 

Marlene Padfield

Marlene Padfield

Homicide:
Marlene Padfield
17 YOA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
February 19, 1959

Between 12:15 and 12:30 a.m. on February 19, 1959, Marlene Padfield, 17, left the Kozy Inn restaurant in Cedar Rapids, with 18-year-old Arthur Scott, Jr., a part-time Coe College student involved in community theater. Marlene was never seen alive again, and her remains were discovered April 29, 1959, by a farmer traveling an isolated dirt road between Cedar Rapids and Mt. Vernon-Lisbon.

 

Fred Coste

Fred Coste

Homicide
Frederick L. Coste
47 YOA
312 Second Avenue SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
October 15, 1959

Frederick “Fred” Coste, 47, was found October 15, 1959, lying face-up in a pool of blood inside his loan interview cubicle at the Family Finance Corporation in Cedar Rapids where he worked. He had been punched in the left eye and then stabbed six times in the chest.

 

Geraldine Maggert

Geraldine Maggert

Homicide:
Geraldine Lempke Maggert
25 YOA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
March 22, 1968

The nearly nude body of Geraldine Maggert, 25, of Cedar Rapids was discovered in a wooded ravine near the Coralville reservoir on April 6, 1968. The victim — who was approximately three months pregnant — was last seen alive on Friday, March 22, 1968; and an autopsy showed she died from a beating and exposure.

 

Charles R. Gearhart: 1880-1970

Homicide
Charles Rufus Gearhart
89 YOA
422 First Street SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
May 13, 1970

Charles Gearhart was stabbed to death at his 422 First St. SW apartment in Cedar Rapids sometime during the evening of May 13, 1970.

 

 

Paula Oberbroeckling

Paula Oberbroeckling

Homicide
Paula Jean Oberbroeckling
18 YOA
116 10th St. N.W.
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
July 11, 1970

Paula Jean Oberbroeckling, 18, disappeared after leaving her 116 10th St. NW Cedar Rapids residence in the early morning hours on Saturday, July 11, 1970. Her body was discovered November 29, 1970, in a ravine near the Cedar River six miles from the apartment she shared with Debbie Kellogg.

 

Maureen Farley

Maureen Farley

Homicide:
Maureen Farley
Maiden Name: Maureen Brubaker
17 YOA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Approx. Date of Death: September 21, 1971

On Sept. 24, 1971, the body of 17-year-old Mrs. Maureen Farley was found atop the trunk lid of an abandoned car in a wooded ravine near the southwest edge of Cedar Rapids. The Linn County medical examiner ruled Farley had been dead no less than 48 hours and no more than 96 hours.

 

Lynn Schuller

Lynn Schuller

Homicide (presumed murdered but body never found)
Lynn Schuller
25 YOA
3100 30th St. Dr. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
August 5, 1972

When Keith Schuller reported his wife Lynn Schuller missing in August 1972, police suspected murder from the very beginning. More than four decades later, they still believe Schuller is responsible for her death, but don’t ever expect to find Lynn Schuller’s body. Why? The answer sounds so much like that of local folklore and legends that even police were reluctant to acknowledge Keith Schuller could have committed such an abhorrent act.

 

Guy Heckle

Guy Heckle

Missing Person:
Guy Heckle
Age at Report: 11
Missing From: Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Missing Since: February 3, 1973

Guy Heckle was reported missing to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office in Cedar Rapids on February 3, 1973, after disappearing while on a Boy Scout camp-out near the Duane Arnold Energy Center.

 

Dennis Stastny

Dennis Stastny

Homicide
Dennis L. Stastny
30 YOA
222 Tenth St. NW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
August 9, 1977

Dennis Stastny was reported missing on Tuesday, August 9, 1977, by his mother, Mary White. Two days later, Stastny’s body was pulled from the Cedar River near downtown Cedar Rapids after two young fishermen discovered the body in the west spillway near the F Avenue bridge about 11 a.m.

 

Michelle Martinko

Michelle Martinko

Homicide:
Michelle Martinko
18 YOA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Case Number: 85-06117
December 19, 1979

On the evening of December 19, 1979, police found 18-year-old Michelle Martinko — her face and chest stabbed repeatedly — in her family’s car in the Westdale Mall parking lot in Cedar Rapids. She had been Christmas shopping.

 

Naomi Wilson

Naomi Wilson

Missing Person:
Naomi Wilson
Age at Report: 32 YOA
Missing From: 1618 13th Ave. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Missing Since: April 12, 1981

Naomi Wilson was reported missing on April 12, 1981. She was last seen at her Cedar Rapids home at 1618 13th Ave. SE, about 4 p.m. by her boyfriend.

 

Denise Fraley

Denise Fraley

Missing Person:
Denise Ordene Fraley
30 YOA
Missing From: Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Date Reported Missing: September 12, 1982

Denise Fraley was reported missing to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation on September 12, 1982, by her family. Her husband David had filed for divorce in May 1982 and a judge granted a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting Denise or their child. The child stated she had seen her mother weighted down with rocks and thrown in a river.

 

Dennis Chaffee

Dennis Chaffee

Homicide
Dennis W. Chaffee
33 YOA
914 28th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
July 17, 1983

Dennis Chaffee, a 33-year-old Vietnam veteran, was shot to death in his Cedar Rapids home on Sunday, July 17, 1983, while his 1-1/2-year-old twin children were in another room. His parents discovered his body Monday evening.

 

Homicide
Danny Baker
617 18th Ave. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
November 28, 1983

Danny Baker was shot in the back in the driveway of his southwest Cedar Rapids home on Monday, November 28, 1983.

 

Ronald Novak

Ronald Novak

Homicide
Ronald Lee Novak
24 YOA
Center Point, IA
Linn County
December 24, 1983

On Christmas Eve day, 1983, Ronald Lee Novak, 24, was found bound with his hands tied behind his back, beaten with golf clubs and firewood, shot in the chest, and then left in an unheated storeroom of his rural Center Point residence. His three devoted golden retrievers lay huddled close around him, trying to keep their dead master warm.

 

Matt Pusateri

Matt Pusateri

Homicide:
Matt Pusateri
26 YOA
800 Block of Sixth St. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Nov. 12, 1988

Matt Pusateri, a driver for Yellow Cab, was shot in the head while sitting in his cab about 3 a.m. in a parking lot in the 800 block of Sixth Street SW in Cedar Rapids.

 

Brian Schappert

Brian Schappert

Homicide:
Brian Lee Schappert
22 YOA
Kum & Go Store, Mt. Vernon Rd.
SE Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Case # 9208179
September 8, 1989

Brian Schappert, 22, was stabbed during an apparent robbery at the Kum & Go store in southeast Cedar Rapids on September 8, 1989.

 

Barbara Elms

Barbara Elms

Missing Person:
Barbara L. Elms
50 YOA
Missing From: Cedar Rapids
Linn County
Date Reported Missing: August 25, 1993

Barbara Elms was reported missing on August 25, 1993. The 50-year-old Cedar Rapids woman had a history of leaving for days at a time, but vanished without a trace on August 25.

 

 

Louis Chambers, Jr.

Louis Chambers, Jr.

Homicide
Louis H. Chambers, Jr.
32 YOA
1400 blk Fifth Avenue SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
February 7, 1994

Louis Chambers was shot in the stomach in the 1400 blk. of 5th Ave SE in Cedar Rapids in the early morning hours of February 19, 1994. He died that afternoon at a local hospital of the single gunshot wound.

 

Rylee Marie Gray

Rylee Marie Gray

Homicide
Rylee M. Gray
2 YOA
1614 Park Towne Ln. NE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
December 23, 1994

Two-year-old Rylee Gray died on Christmas Day in 1994 after suffering injuries to her head, buttocks, and extremities two days earlier at the home she shared with her mother, Elise Gray, and Elise’s boyfriend, Matthew Lewis. Lewis was charged with first-degree murder but acquitted by a Linn County District Court jury.

 

Traci Evenson

Traci Evenson

Homicide
Traci Evenson
22 YOA
438 Ninth Ave. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
June 21, 1997

Traci Evenson, 22, was found beaten viciously in the face and suffocated in her Cedar Rapids Apartment on June 22, 1997. An autopsy revealed she died about 9:30 the night before.

 

Michael Reed

Michael Reed

Michael William Reed
19 YOA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
April 17, 1998

Michael William Reed, 19, of 43 20th Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids on Friday, April 17, 1998. Reed’s mother, Deb (Peal) Evans, told Iowa Cold Cases that police believed her son’s death was a suicide, but that it was well known around [Cedar Rapids] what really happened to her son. Those involved, Evans said, never have been brought to justice.

 

Judith K. Weeks

Judith K. Weeks

Homicide
Judith Weeks
44 YOA
1319 Second Ave. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
April 4, 1999

On April 5, 1999, the body of Judith Weeks, 44, was found nude from the waist down in the back yard at 1319 Second Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids. Weeks suffered a wound to her forehead caused by a bladed object.

 

Jamar Magett

Jamar Magett

Homicide
Jamar Magett
19 YOA
1400 Block of Fifth Ave. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
May 10, 1999

Jamar Magett, 19, of Chicago was shot in the head and chest while standing in the 1400 block of Fifth Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids on May 10, 1999. A Linn County jury acquitted Paul Gilbert, 18, of Cedar Rapids, in the slaying.

 

Willie Junior Brocks

Willie Junior Brocks

Homicide
Willie Junior Brocks
49 YOA
400 Block of 15th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
November 27, 1999

On Nov. 27, 1999, Willie Junior Brocks, 49, was shot in the head in the 400 block of 15th St. SE in Cedar Rapids.

 

 

Erin Pospisil

Erin Pospisil

Missing Person:
Erin Kay Pospisil
Age at Report: 15 YOA
Missing From: Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Missing Since: June 3, 2001

Fifteen-year-old Erin Pospisil was last seen in front of a friend’s home in the 1500 block of Second Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids around 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, June 3, 2001. The teen was seen getting into an early ’90s model black Chevrolet Cavalier with tinted rear windows.

 

Tyrone Gilbert

Tyrone Gilbert

Homicide
Tyrone Gilbert
28 YOA
412 15th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
June 21, 2001

On June 21, 2001, Tyrone Gilbert, 28, was found fatally shot in the abdomen on the front porch at 412 15th St. SE in Cedar Rapids.

 

 

Joseph Harris

Joseph Harris

Homicide:
Joseph Harris
23 YOA
3600 block of Wenig Rd. NE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
January 6, 2003

On January 6, 2003, Chicago resident Joseph Harris, 23, was found dead of gunshot wounds to the head in the front passenger seat of a burning green 1995 Lincoln in the 3600 block of Wenig Road NE in Cedar Rapids.

 

Jay Grahlman

Jay Grahlman

Jaymie Grahlman

Jaymie Grahlman

Double Homicide:
Jay Grahlman, 38, and
Jaymie Grahlman, 6

3755 H. Ave. NE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
April 5, 2003

Jay Grahlman, 38, and his six-year-old daughter, Jaymie, died from injuries suffered in a late-night fire set at their Cedar Rapids home on Saturday, April 5, 2003. Jaymie suffered brain damage and died Sunday after being removed from life support, and Jay died the following Wednesday morning from burns he’d sustained in the fire.

 

Anthony Posley

Anthony Posley

Homicide
Anthony Posley
22 YOA
1600 Blk of Sixth Ave. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
July 23, 2006

Anthony Posley, 22, of 3333 Pioneer Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids was shot in the 1600 block of Sixth Avenue SE about 2:27 a.m. on July 23, 2006. He was taken by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center and pronounced dead a short time later.

 

Dorothy Rose

Dorothy Rose

Homicide
Dorothy Jenine Rose
43 YOA
206 12th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
November 25, 2006

Dorothy Jenine Rose, 43, was strangled to death inside her southeast Cedar Rapids apartment on or around November 25, 2006. The building’s landlord discovered her decomposing body — an electrical cord still wrapped around her neck — on November 28, 2006. Police said Rose had been dead three to four days.

 

Dennis First

Dennis First

Homicide
Dennis First
64 YOA
2249 C St. SW #5
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
May 11, 2007

Dennis Lee First, 64, died early Friday morning, May 11, 2007, after being stabbed and beaten at his Cedar Rapids efficiency apartment, located at 2249 C St. SW.

 

Aubrey Young

Homicide
Aubrey Dwayne Young
35 YOA
200 blk. of 16th St. SE
Near Redmond Park
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
June 15, 2008

Aubrey Young, 35, was found shot to death near Redmond Park in Cedar Rapids in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 15, 2008. Investigators found his body, lying face down on the ground, between two parked cars in the 200 block of 16th Street SE. Young had been shot once in the head.

 

Dominique Mosby

Dominique Mosby

Homicide
Dominique Mosby
22 YOA
Cedarwood Hills Apartments
2030 Glass Rd. NE, No. 105
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
June 26, 2009

Twenty-two-year-old Dominique Mosby was shot in the head on Friday, June 26, 2009 as he sat outside on an apartment deck playing dice for money with a group of men.

 

Dexter Meeks

Dexter Meeks

Homicide
Dexter Lashun “Big Ham” Meeks
22 YOA
211 15th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
June 26, 2011

Dexter Lashun Meeks, known to his friends as “Big Ham,” was shot in the early morning hours on Sunday, June 26, 2011, near the front door of his apartment building at 211 15th St. SE in Cedar Rapids.

 

Matthew John Owen

Matthew John Owen

Homicide
Matthew John (M. John) Owen
90 YOA
107 Gas Light Ct. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
January 18, 2013

Matthew John Owen, who went by the name M. John Owen, was found dead on the kitchen floor of his 107 Gas Light Ct. SW home in Cedar Rapids on Friday morning, January 18, 2013. According to Chief State Medical Examiner Dr. Julia Goodin, Owen died of multiple blunt-force injuries.

 

Copyright © 2014 Iowa Cold Cases, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Cedar Rapids

On October 21, 2010, in , by Jody Ewing
Linn County in Iowa

Linn County in Iowa

Cedar Rapids in Linn County

Cedar Rapids in Linn County

Cold Cases in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

 

*Please Note: Some of the cases listed below may fall under the Linn County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction. They are included here for cross-reference purposes. More specific information may be found on each victim’s individual page.

 

Marlene Padfield

Marlene Padfield

Homicide:
Marlene Padfield
17 YOA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
February 19, 1959

Between 12:15 and 12:30 a.m. on February 19, 1959, Marlene Padfield, 17, left the Kozy Inn restaurant in Cedar Rapids with 18-year-old Arthur Scott, Jr., a part-time Coe College student involved in community theater. Marlene was never seen alive again, and her remains were discovered April 29, 1959, by a farmer traveling an isolated dirt road between Cedar Rapids and Mt. Vernon-Lisbon.

 

Fred Coste

Fred Coste

Homicide
Frederick L. Coste
47 YOA
312 Second Avenue SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
October 15, 1959

Frederick “Fred” Coste, 47, was found October 15, 1959, lying face-up in a pool of blood inside his loan interview cubicle at the Family Finance Corporation in Cedar Rapids where he worked. He had been punched in the left eye and then stabbed six times in the chest.

 

Geraldine Maggert

Geraldine Maggert

Homicide:
Geraldine Lempke Maggert
25 YOA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
March 22, 1968

The nearly nude body of Geraldine Maggert, 25, of Cedar Rapids was discovered in a wooded ravine near the Coralville reservoir on April 6, 1968. The victim — who was approximately three months pregnant — was last seen alive on Friday, March 22, 1968; and an autopsy showed she died from a beating and exposure.

 

Charles R. Gearhart: 1880-1970

Homicide
Charles Rufus Gearhart
89 YOA
422 First Street SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
May 13, 1970

Charles Gearhart was stabbed to death at his 422 First St. SW apartment in Cedar Rapids sometime during the evening of May 13, 1970.

 

 

Paula Oberbroeckling

Paula Oberbroeckling

Homicide
Paula Jean Oberbroeckling
18 YOA
116 10th St. N.W.
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
July 11, 1970

Paula Jean Oberbroeckling, 18, disappeared after leaving her 116 10th St. NW Cedar Rapids residence in the early morning hours on Saturday, July 11, 1970. Her body was discovered November 29, 1970, in a ravine near the Cedar River six miles from the apartment she shared with Debbie Kellogg.

 

Maureen Farley

Maureen Farley

Homicide:
Maureen Farley
Maiden Name: Maureen Brubaker
17 YOA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Approx. Date of Death: September 21, 1971

On Sept. 24, 1971, the body of 17-year-old Mrs. Maureen Farley was found atop the trunk lid of an abandoned car in a wooded ravine near the southwest edge of Cedar Rapids. The Linn County medical examiner ruled Farley had been dead no less than 48 hours and no more than 96 hours.

 

Lynn Schuller

Lynn Schuller

Homicide
Lynn Schuller
25 YOA
3100 30th St. Dr. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
August 6, 1972

Lynn Schuller disappeared from her Cedar Rapids home on August 6, 1972. Police suspected murder from the very beginning, but don’t expect to ever find her body. She was legally declared dead on March 20, 1978.

 

Guy Heckle

Guy Heckle

Missing Person:
Guy Heckle
Age at Report: 11
Missing From: Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Missing Since: February 3, 1973

Guy Heckle was reported missing to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office in Cedar Rapids on February 3, 1973, after disappearing while on a Boy Scout camp-out near the Duane Arnold Energy Center.

 

Wanda Morrow

Wanda Morrow

Homicide
Wanda Jean Morrow
14 YOA
Cedar Rapids resident
Found dead in Pima County, AZ (jurisdiction)
September 6, 1976

Two days before Wanda Jean Morrow of Cedar Rapids would have celebrated her 15th birthday, a hiker stumbled upon her badly decomposed body in a mountainous region north of Tucson, Arizona. The young teen — found on Mount Lemmon near a campground 30 miles north of Tucson on Sept. 6, 1976 — had died from multiple stab wounds to the back.

 

Dennis Stastny

Dennis Stastny

Homicide
Dennis L. Stastny
30 YOA
222 Tenth St. NW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
August 9, 1977

Dennis Stastny was reported missing on Tuesday, August 9, 1977, by his mother, Mary White. Two days later, Stastny’s body was pulled from the Cedar River near downtown Cedar Rapids after two young fishermen discovered the body in the west spillway near the F Avenue bridge about 11 a.m.

 

Michelle Martinko

Michelle Martinko

Homicide:
Michelle Martinko
18 YOA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Case Number: 85-06117
December 19, 1979

On the evening of December 19, 1979, police found 18-year-old Michelle Martinko — her face and chest stabbed repeatedly — in her family’s car in the Westdale Mall parking lot. She had been Christmas shopping.

 

Naomi Wilson

Naomi Wilson

Missing Person:
Naomi Wilson
Age at Report: 32 YOA
Missing From: 1618 13th Ave. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Missing Since: April 12, 1981

Naomi Wilson was reported missing from Cedar Rapids on April 12, 1981. She was last seen at her home at 1618 13th Ave. SE, about 4 p.m. by her boyfriend.

 

Denise Fraley

Denise Fraley

Missing Person:
Denise Ordene Fraley
30 YOA
Missing From: Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Date Reported Missing: September 12, 1982

Denise Fraley was reported missing to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation on September 12, 1982, by her family. Her husband David had filed for divorce in May 1982 and a judge granted a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting Denise or their child. The child stated she had seen her mother weighted down with rocks and thrown in a river.

 

Dennis Chaffee

Dennis Chaffee

Homicide
Dennis W. Chaffee
33 YOA
914 28th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
July 17, 1983

Dennis Chaffee, a 33-year-old Vietnam veteran, was shot to death in his Cedar Rapids home on Sunday, July 17, 1983, while his 1-1/2-year-old twin children were in another room. His parents discovered his body Monday evening.

 

Homicide
Danny Baker
617 18th Ave. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
November 28, 1983

Danny Baker was shot in the back in the driveway of his southwest Cedar Rapids home on Monday, November 28, 1983.

 

Matt Pusateri

Homicide:
Matt Pusateri
26 YOA
800 Block of Sixth St. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Nov. 12, 1988

Matt Pusateri, a driver for Yellow Cab, was shot in the head while sitting in his cab about 3 a.m. in a parking lot in the 800 block of Sixth Street SW in Cedar Rapids.

 

Brian Schappert

Homicide:
Brian Lee Schappert
22 YOA
Kum & Go Store, Mt. Vernon Rd.
SE Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Case # 92-08179
September 8, 1989

Brian Schappert, 22, was stabbed during an apparent robbery at the Kum & Go store in southeast Cedar Rapids on September 8, 1989.

 

Barbara Elms

Missing Person:
Barbara L. Elms
50 YOA
Missing From:
Cedar Rapids
Linn County
Date Reported Missing: August 25, 1993

Barbara Elms was reported missing on August 25, 1993. The 50-year-old Cedar Rapids woman had a history of leaving for days at a time, but vanished without a trace on August 25.

 

Louis Chambers, Jr.

Louis Chambers, Jr.

Homicide
Louis H. Chambers, Jr.
32 YOA
1400 blk Fifth Avenue SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
February 7, 1994

Louis Chambers was shot in the stomach in the 1400 blk. of 5th Ave SE in Cedar Rapids in the early morning hours of February 19, 1994. He died that afternoon at a local hospital of the single gunshot wound.

 

Rylee Marie Gray

Rylee Marie Gray

Homicide
Rylee M. Gray
2 YOA
1614 Park Towne Ln. NE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
December 23, 1994

Two-year-old Rylee Gray died on Christmas Day in 1994 after suffering injuries to her head, buttocks, and extremities two days earlier at the home she shared with her mother, Elise Gray, and Elise’s boyfriend, Matthew Lewis. Lewis was charged with first-degree murder but acquitted by a Linn County District Court jury.

 

Traci Evenson

Homicide
Traci Evenson
22 YOA
438 Ninth Ave. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
June 21, 1997

Traci Evenson, 22, was found beaten viciously in the face and suffocated in her Cedar Rapids Apartment on June 22, 1997. An autopsy revealed she died about 9:30 the night before.

 

Michael Reed

Michael Reed

Michael William Reed
19 YOA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
April 17, 1998

Michael William Reed, 19, of 43 20th Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids on Friday, April 17, 1998. Reed’s mother, Deb (Peal) Evans, told Iowa Cold Cases that police believed her son’s death was a suicide, but that it was well known around [Cedar Rapids] what really happened to her son. Those involved, Evans said, never have been brought to justice.

 

Judith K. Weeks

Judith K. Weeks

Homicide
Judith Weeks
44 YOA
1319 Second Ave. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
April 4, 1999

On April 5, 1999, the body of Judith Weeks, 44, was found nude from the waist down in the back yard at 1319 Second Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids. Weeks suffered a wound to her forehead caused by a bladed object.

 

Jamar Magett

Jamar Magett

Homicide
Jamar Magett
19 YOA
1400 Block of Fifth Ave. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
May 10, 1999

Jamar Magett, 19, of Chicago was shot in the head and chest while standing in the 1400 block of Fifth Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids on May 10, 1999. A Linn County jury acquitted Paul Gilbert, 18, of Cedar Rapids, in the slaying.

 

Willie Junior Brocks

Willie Junior Brocks

Homicide
Willie Junior Brocks
49 YOA
400 Block of 15th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
November 27, 1999

On Nov. 27, 1999, Willie Junior Brocks, 49, was shot in the head in the 400 block of 15th St. SE in Cedar Rapids.

 

 

Erin Pospisil

Missing Person:
Erin Kay Pospisil
Age at Report: 15 YOA
Missing From: Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Missing Since: June 3, 2001

Fifteen-year-old Erin Pospisil was last seen in front of a friend’s home in the 1500 block of Second Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids around 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, June 3, 2001. The teen was seen getting into an early ’90s model black Chevrolet Cavalier with tinted rear windows.

 

Tyrone Gilbert

Tyrone Gilbert

Homicide
Tyrone Gilbert
28 YOA
412 15th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
June 21, 2001

On June 21, 2001, Tyrone Gilbert, 28, was fatally shot in the abdomen on the front porch at 412 15th St. SE in Cedar Rapids.

 

 

Joseph Harris

Homicide:
Joseph Harris
23 YOA
3600 block of Wenig Rd. NE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
January 6, 2003

On January 6, 2003, Chicago resident Joseph Harris, 23, was found dead of gunshot wounds to the head in the front passenger seat of a burning green 1995 Lincoln in the 3600 block of Wenig Road NE in Cedar Rapids.

 

Jaymie Grahlman

Jay Grahlman

Jay Grahlman

Double Homicide:
Jay Grahlman, 38
Jaymie Grahlman, 6

3755 H. Ave. NE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
April 5, 2003

Jay Grahlman, 38, and his six-year-old daughter, Jaymie, died from injuries suffered in a late-night fire set at their Cedar Rapids home on Saturday, April 5, 2003. Jaymie suffered brain damage and died Sunday after being removed from life support, and Jay died the following Wednesday morning from burns he’d sustained in the fire.

 

Anthony Posley

Anthony Posley

Homicide
Anthony Posley
22 YOA
1600 Blk of Sixth Ave. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
July 23, 2006

Anthony Posley, 22, of 3333 Pioneer Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids was shot in the 1600 block of Sixth Avenue SE about 2:27 a.m. on July 23, 2006. He was taken by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center and pronounced dead a short time later.

 

Dorothy Rose

Dorothy Rose

Homicide
Dorothy Jenine Rose
43 YOA
206 12th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
November 25, 2006

Dorothy Jenine Rose, 43, was strangled to death inside her southeast Cedar Rapids apartment on or around November 25, 2006. The building’s landlord discovered her decomposing body — an electrical cord still wrapped around her neck — on November 28, 2006. Police said Rose had been dead three to four days.

 

Dennis First

Dennis First

Homicide
Dennis First
64 YOA
2249 C St. SW #5
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
May 11, 2007

Dennis Lee First, 64, died early Friday morning, May 11, 2007, after being stabbed and beaten at his Cedar Rapids efficiency apartment, located at 2249 C St. SW.

 

Aubrey Young

Homicide
Aubrey Dwayne Young
35 YOA
200 blk. of 16th St. SE
Near Redmond Park
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
June 15, 2008

Aubrey Young, 35, was found shot to death near Redmond Park in Cedar Rapids in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 15, 2008. Investigators found his body, lying face down on the ground, between two parked cars in the 200 block of 16th Street SE. Young had been shot once in the head.

 

Dominique Mosby

Dominique Mosby

Homicide
Dominique Mosby
22 YOA
Cedarwood Hills Apartments
2030 Glass Rd. NE, No. 105
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
June 26, 2009

Twenty-two-year-old Dominique Mosby was shot in the head on Friday, June 26, 2009 as he sat outside on an apartment deck playing dice for money with a group of men.

 

Dexter Meeks

Dexter Meeks

Homicide
Dexter Lashun “Big Ham” Meeks
22 YOA
211 15th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
June 26, 2011

Dexter Lashun Meeks, known to his friends as “Big Ham,” was shot in the early morning hours on Sunday, June 26, 2011, near the front door of his apartment building at 211 15th St. SE in Cedar Rapids.

 

Matthew John Owen

Matthew John Owen

Homicide
Matthew John (M. John) Owen
90 YOA
107 Gas Light Ct. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
January 18, 2013

Matthew John Owen, who went by the name M. John Owen, was found dead on the kitchen floor of his 107 Gas Light Ct. SW home in Cedar Rapids on Friday morning, January 18, 2013. According to Chief State Medical Examiner Dr. Julia Goodin, Owen died of multiple blunt-force injuries.

 

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