Annamarie Rittman

Annamarie Rittman (Photo courtesy KCCI)

Annamarie Rittman

Hit-and-Run Homicide

Annamarie Rittman
46 YOA
Lowe’s Parking Lot
Altoona, IA
Polk County
December 27, 2005

Annamarie Rittman, a 46-year-old employee at the Lowe’s Store in Altoona, Iowa, was struck down by a pickup that swerved into her on December 27, 2005. The mother of three was walking through the store’s parking lot just before 5:30 a.m. when video cameras captured on tape a red four-door Ford pickup truck running her down and hitting her from behind.

Polk County in Iowa
Polk County in Iowa
Altoona in Polk CountyAltoona in Polk County

Rittman later died at a local hospital.

Justin Andrew Pollard, a U.S. Army reservist, was charged with first-degree murder in Rittman’s hit-and-run homicide after police matched video footage and stickers on the back window of Pollard’s truck to the vehicle seen in the video. Pollard had clocked into work shortly after the hit-and-run.

Pollard, an Iraq War veteran who served with the U.S. Army Reserve 339th Military Police company based in Davenport, had married Emily White the summer before the murder, and the couple’s daughter was born just weeks before Rittman’s murder.

The murder charges were dropped in 2007 after a judge ruled the video inadmissible because it played faster than real time. Charges were refiled in 2009 after experts found a way to slow the video.

Evidence presented at Pollard’s trial showed not only his truck’s dented bumper, but stickers on the back window similar to those seen on the truck in the videotape. Defense attorney Alfredo Parrish argued that no fibers, human tissue or DNA linking Pollard to Rittman were found in the truck during the original investigation.

justin-pollard-and-alfredo-parrishCourtesy photo WHO TV Channel 13
Justin Pollard (center) and criminal defense attorney Alfredo Parrish (right) during Pollard’s 2010 murder trial.

Pollard’s wife said he was never at the accident scene, though Pollard told officials he’d clocked into work at 5:31 a.m., approximately six minutes after Annamarie was run down.

Special Agent John Quinn of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said Pollard intentionally hit the woman and then left the scene. Authorities, who examined video footage from three different stores, claimed Pollard used his truck as a weapon to kill Rittman as she walked into work.

Throughout the trial, Parrish spoke extensively about Pollard’s two tours in Iraq and his role as a new husband and father.

Polk County jurors acquitted Pollard of Rittman’s murder in September 2010. KCCI raw video footage showed a smiling Pollard leaving the Polk County courthouse after the verdict, busily texting on his cell phone and using few words to respond to KCCI’s questions.

annamarie-rittman-gravestoneCourtesy photo Katie Lou,
Annamarie Rittman was buried at the New Altoona Cemetery in Polk County. Her case remains open in name only.

In May 2012, Pollard filed a lawsuit against the city of Altoona, two Altoona police officials and a video production company. The lawsuit sought $14 million in damages and claimed malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, and negligence.

On Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, media reports said a settlement had been reached between the parties, but no settlement details were released.

Officials stand behind the evidence they had against Pollard, and are not actively seeking any other suspects in Rittman’s murder. Pollard cannot be tried again due to Double Jeopardy laws.

Annamarie Rittman’s murder remains an open case, but in name only.

Anyone with further information about her death is encouraged to contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010 or the Altoona Police Department at (515) 967-5132.

About Annamarie Rittman

Annamarie Rittman was born March 30, 1959. She was survived by her husband, Brian, and the couple’s three children.

She was buried at the New Altoona Cemetery in Altoona, Polk County, Iowa.

Jury: Pollard Not Guilty – from KCCI TV


Pollard Verdict: More Reaction – from KCCI TV



19 Responses to Annamarie Rittman

  1. Cody says:

    So did he also work at Lowe’s?? Or nearby? What was the motive according to the State? Seems like we are missing key information here.

    • Lindsey Molloy says:

      She was murdered. Hit-and-run hired by gee husband. That’s my theory as my mother dated her nasty husband after she passed away.. . He is a very violent and abusive evil man…. started dating my mother not even a month after his wife passed away.

  2. upinomaha says:

    Sounds like it was an accident on a foggy morning with the culprit leaving the scene. But we are being fed accusations of deliberation with no motive being provided. The whole “video speed” argument is inconsequential as even still images should have sufficed. I am led to believe the judge allowed this argument because an over zealous district attorney was not being allowed to throw the book at him. Again, I am only assuming this from this page and the local news videos provided. Please enlighten me if I am wrong.

    • upinomaha says:

      I should clarify that if the DA had decided to charge him with manslaughter and leaving the scene that the video speed argument would have been struck down.

  3. OIF_SGT2004 says:

    Oh trust me, I’ve read everything there is to read about this case.

    I just find it sad that an innocent man’s reputation was dragged through the mud because a community’s law enforcement was under pressure to pin this on someone and close the case. And while they wasted all that time, the real person who did it is probably long gone. Just very, very sad.

    • Diana says:

      Sad is that you feel writing about this mans innocence will change any one persons notion that he’s guilty as all the facts show he is. While he probably feels he’s beat the system, God knows everything he’s done. Let him live with that.

  4. OIF_SGT2004 says:

    I LOVE how this description of this cold case is COMPLETELY one sided against Justin. Reading this made me sick. The creators/author/whatever of this page should be ASHAMED!!!

    I know Justin. I’ve known him since I was 5 years old and NO WAY IN HELL would he do anything like this.

    While I feel horrible for the family and pray for them it is in no way right or just to right about this cold case in this way.


    • Jody Ewing says:

      OIF_SGT2004, I can only assume you haven’t read any of the newspaper articles about this case, because, if you did, you’d realize this “case summary” is *not* a one-sided opinion piece, but rather a collective recap of verifiable facts published by reputable newspapers. You’ll find links to those reports under the “Sources” section following the case summary.

      Iowa Cold Cases is not in the business of writing opinion pieces, but providing information (based on solid sources) about unsolved crimes in the hopes that someone who knows something might contact the appropriate investigating agency and perhaps help them solve the case.

  5. I can’t imagine how this family functions knowing that the person that committed this crime will never serve time .

  6. Jack, we’ve included Annamarie’s case on the site because it’s never been cleared/closed. (As I mentioned on Annamarie’s page, it remains open, but in name only.) No one was ever convicted in her murder, though police are certain they had the right man.

    • Mary Whether says:

      So…are we to believe that Brian Rittman was innocent? I know a woman who dated Brian for quite awhile after Angie was murdered. He virtually came out and admitted the murder to her. She believes that Brian either did it or hired it done, but was too afraid of Brian to say anything.

      [Identity of referenced individual removed by ICC admin.]

  7. Kris Starks says:

    I wonder if this Pollard is any relation to the Pollard’s who live in Ottumwa, IA? Just wondering, because one of them is in jail for murder. He was seen on camera, robbing a restaurant downtown. He later went into the Cinema X theater there and robbed, and beat to death the owner of the business. A VERY scary and dangerous individual.

  8. Sounds like he got away with it to me.

  9. Jack Toomey says:

    So it’s not a cold case and he cannot ever be tried again for her death.

  10. Lori says:

    What a travesty of justice! Why the hell did they find him Not Guilty? I feel so sorry for her family. I can only hope karma works like a bitch!

  11. jessy says:

    Land of the free and home of the brave. With as smart as Americans are, you’d think they found a better way to pick a jury of your peers, instead of a group of idiots calling themselves jurors. what kind of world do we live in when a proven killer gets off scott free? Oh yeah, that helps me sleep at night while caring for a small child. If that guy kills again, I think the jury should be on trail right along with him; because they sent a known killer back out on the streets. to the jury, your judgement day will come and how can you even sleep at night with the choices you made?

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