Cedar Rapids police close 1971 cold case of Maureen Brubaker-Farley

Fifty years later, DNA helped police identify George M. Smith, who died in 2013, as the suspect

Fifty years after 17-year-old Maureen Brubaker-Farley’s body was found in a ravine on Ely Road SW, Cedar Rapids investigators have closed the case.

George Merlin Smith (Obituary photo, courtesy Brosh Chapel)

Through investigation and DNA technology, the Cedar Rapids Police Department Cold Case Unit identified and confirmed George M. Smith as the suspect in the homicide cold case, police said in a news release on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.

The case will be closed with no prosecution because Smith died in 2013 at the age of 94, police said.

“No matter how much time has passed, our officers are committed to seeking out justice for all victims of violent crime as well as their families,” Police Chief Wayne Jerman said in a statement. “I am extremely proud of the generations of Cedar Rapids Officers that contributed to bringing this once cold case to a resolution.”

Jerman said the current Cold Case Unit includes investigator Matt Denlinger, retired DCI Special Agent JD Smith and retired CRPD Police Lieutenant Ken Washburn.

Read the full story at The Gazette

We Remember … Upcoming Cold Case Anniversaries

We remember upcoming cold case anniversaries and birthdays the victims would have celebrated.

Joseph Payne Joseph E. Payne
72 YOA
15th & Armory
Chariton, IA
Lucas County
October 17, 1945
Karen Streed
21 YOA
Amana, IA
Iowa County
Case # 71-00703
October 18, 1971
Douglas Nielsen clips Douglas A. Nielsen, 17
1409 Elmhurst Ave.
Humboldt, IA
Humboldt County
Case # 74-00512
October 18, 1974
Rodney Olsen Rodney J. Olsen
Age at Report: 32
Missing From:
Mason City, IA
October 18, 1986
Melissa Hasley Melissa Dawn Hasley
Age at Report: 31
Missing From:
Des Moines, IA
October 18, 2002
Rhonda Knutson, 23
New Hampton, IA
Chickasaw County
Killed Sept. 7, 1992
Would have celebrated 52nd birthday Oct. 19
Wilma June Nissen Wilma June Nissen, 23
Lyon County, Iowa
Case # 78-06487
Body found: Oct. 4, 1978
Would have celebrated 67th birthday Oct. 19
Des Moines Johnie Clinton
68 YOA
1525 Walker Street
Des Moines, IA
Case # 1978-41681
October 19, 1978
Jorge Gutierrez Jorge “Louie” Gutierrez
47 YOA
3400 Blk S. Concorde
Davenport, IA
Scott County
October 19, 2004
Brandy Ratliff Brandy Ratliff, Jr.
31 YOA
1608 E. Capitol Ave
Des Moines, IA
Polk County
October 19, 2008
Marlon Barber Marlon T. Barber, Jr.
15 YOA
2000 Blk Jackson St.
Dubuque, IA
Dubuque County
October 20, 2012
Mary K. Senne Mary K. Senne
21 YOA
4119 E. University
Des Moines, IA
Case # 1973-51704
October 22, 1973

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