Welcome to Iowa Cold Cases

Welcome to the Iowa Cold Cases (ICC) website. We are proud to be the U.S.’s first statewide database to document all known unsolved murders in Iowa, along with persons who’ve gone missing under suspicious circumstances.

The site includes victim case summaries that may be searched or cross-referenced by the victim’s name, the city, county and year the crime occurred, and by decade. It also includes a list of cases solved since ICC launched in December 2005, and unsolved cases where rewards are offered for information leading to an arrest and/or conviction.

ICC incorporated as an Iowa nonprofit organization in April 2010, and though we are not affiliated with any local, state, or federal law enforcement agency, we do work as a liaison with these agencies in efforts to provide updated data on these cold cases.

Iowa is divided into 99 counties and has 947 cities. Every incorporated place in Iowa is called a “city,” regardless of population, though some of the smaller cities do not have individual police departments and cases are worked by the county sheriff’s office or are grouped with other nearby police departments and/or the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), aka “the State.”

What We Do, What They Do, and How You Can Help

ICC data is culled through communications with hundreds of jurisdictions, personal interviews, investigative journalism and media reports, and our goal here is to present known facts about each crime without compromising any ongoing criminal investigation. Formal investigations, including the questioning of suspects and any subsequent arrests or filing of criminal charges, are conducted solely by law enforcement agencies assigned to the case and may include a combination of local, state, and/or federal authorities.

It is important to note these officers/agents must handle daily and current caseloads, and because Iowa has no official Cold Case Unit, each officer/agent is assigned a handful of cold cases to work as time permits. And, though ICC receives no local/state/federal funding and cannot employ peace officers or agents, we remain deeply committed to telling these victims’ stories because seeing justice served is still possible with so many. It goes without saying, however, that it is virtually impossible for ICC to actively investigate several hundred unsolved cases simultaneously without the manpower to do so.

Somebody always knows something. Please step up and do the right thing. If you believe you have information that might help solve one of Iowa’s cold cases, we strongly encourage you to contact the appropriate investigating agency/agencies listed at the end of each victim’s case summary.

Thank you for taking time from your day to visit our site.

We Remember: Upcoming Cold Case Anniversaries

Listed below are upcoming cold case anniversaries and, where noted, birthdays the victims would have celebrated.

Lisa Peak
Marie “Lisa” Peak
19 YOA
Waverly, IA
Killed 9/7/1976
Would have celebrated 61st birthday Dec. 10
Jacob “Jake” Biretz
87 YOA
311 Lafayette St., Apt. B
Waterloo, IA
Black Hawk County
December 10, 1993
John Rude
51 YOA
2500 Blk of Madison
Davenport, IA
Scott County
December 11, 1974
John Johnson
John Johnson
Age at Report: 71
Missing From:
Des Moines, IA
Missing Since:
December 11, 1996
Baby Feet
Baby John Doe
Newborn Infant
Des Moines River
Polk County, IA
Case # 10-77-1397
December 12, 1953
Julie Benning
Julie Benning, 18
Waverly, IA
Bremer County
Killed 11/28/1975
Would have celebrated 61st birthday Dec. 12
Chuck Deatsch
Chuck Deatsch, Jr., 52
17841 500th St.
Mystic, IA
Killed 4/28/2008
Would have celebrated 62nd birthday Dec. 13
Hilda Fletcher
53 YOA
Sioux City, IA
Woodbury County
December 15, 1958
Donald Nervig
Donald Nervig
52 YOA
Des Moines, IA
Polk County
Case # 1965-20581
December 15, 1965
Connie Bodensteiner
Connie Jo Choate Bodensteiner, 22
Des Moines, IA
Killed 8/8/1995
Would have celebrated 47th birthday Dec. 15
Johnny Joe Shields
Johnny Joe Shields
Age at Report: 32
Missing From:
Carter Lake, IA
Case # 89-00081
December 15, 1988
Missing Person
Larry O. Martin
Age at Report: 44
Missing From:
Des Moines, IA
Missing Since:
December 15, 2009

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