Cari Lea Farver
Missing Person –> Homicide
Shanna Golyar found guilty of first-degree murder
Age at Report: 37
Date of Birth: Nov. 30, 1974
Residence: Macedonia, Iowa
Last Seen Alive: Nov. 13, 2012, in Omaha, Nebraska
Reported Missing: Nov. 16, 2012
Investigating Agency: Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office
Case Number: S12-021291
Arrest Made: December 22, 2016
Suspect: Shanna Golyar
Bench Trial Scheduled: May 10, 2017
Verdict — Guilty: May 24, 2017
Sentencing: On Aug. 15, 2017, Shanna Golyar sentenced to life for first-degree murder and given an additional 18 to 20 years for arson.
FRI, SEPT 29, 2017
Pottawattamie County’s IT supervisor worked on the Cari Farver case for thousands of hours. Tony Kava discussed his work with Keith Morrison.
FRI, SEPT 29, 2017
Cari Farver’s friends remember her as a loving mother and supportive friend.
July 17, 2019 — COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — The disappearance of Cari Farver in 2012 puzzled investigators, but the murder trial that followed stunned the community. Now, authorities say Facebook profiles she created remain online and they want them removed.
In 2017, Shanna Golyar was sentenced to life in prison for killing Cari Farver because she was dating her ex-boyfriend and using a web of social media lies to pretend [Farver] was still alive.
Digital Forensic Administrator with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office, Anthony Kava, worked for years on the case and says two profiles used to stalk people and commit the murder remained on Facebook this week. The profiles were used as evidence in the trial.
Facebook previously removed all the fake “Cari Farver” profiles Golyar created, and Kava has asked for two years for Facebook to remove the last two.
Nov. 10, 2018 — LINCOLN, Neb. — When Shanna Golyar asked the state’s high court to reverse her conviction and life sentence for first-degree murder, she pointed out that criminal investigators never found a murder weapon, a single witness or most importantly, a body.
In rejecting Golyar’s appeal Friday (Nov. 9, 2018), the Nebraska Supreme Court relied on volumes of circumstantial evidence amassed by investigators in one of the most bizarre romantic obsession murders the state has ever seen.
The 43-year-old woman not only killed Cari Farver for kindling a relationship with the man Golyar was obsessed with, she spent four years impersonating the victim in text messages, emails and Facebook postings. A unanimous Supreme Court ruled that overwhelming circumstantial evidence in the case overcame the lack of a body or doubts about premeditation.
Iowa woman convicted of killing, impersonating romantic rival asks Nebraska Supreme Court for new trial
Aug. 31, 2018 –LINCOLN, Neb. — The lack of a body, a weapon or even eyewitnesses didn’t allow Shanna Golyar of Persia to escape conviction in one of Nebraska’s strangest homicide cases.
Instead, the 43-year-old Iowa woman is doing life in prison for murder and arson because she wrote dozens of text messages posing as her romantic rival, who disappeared in 2012, never to be seen again.
On Wednesday, an attorney for Golyar urged the Nebraska Supreme Court to erase a guilty verdict and order a new trial in the case.
Aug. 15, 2017 — UPDATE: Shanna Golyar was sentenced to life for first-degree murder Tuesday morning, Aug. 15, 2017.
Golyar was also given an additional 18 to 20 years for arson. She will serve the sentences consecutively.
May 24, 2017 — Douglas County District Judge Timothy Burns found Shanna Golyar guilty of first-degree murder and second-degree arson Wednesday morning, May 24, 2017, after 10 days of trial. She will be sentenced to life in prison in August.
Burns said Golyar spun a “twisted plot of lies, deceit and impersonations through digital messaging” to keep Farver alive online and distract authorities.
“Cari Farver did not voluntarily disappear and drop off the face of the earth,” Burns said just before delivering his verdict. “Very sadly, she was murdered.”
May 23, 2017: OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) — The prosecution and defense each presented their closing arguments in the trial of Shanna Golyar. She’s accused of killing her romantic rival, Cari Farver, who has been missing since November 2012. Investigators have never found Farver’s body.
Deputy Douglas County Attorney Jim Masteller said: “This was a well-planned, well-executed scheme of the defendant to intercept Cari Farver, murder her, and dispose of her body.”
Masteller used a photo of a foot to prove Farver is dead — and that Golyar killed her. The photo was found on a memory card filled with images, including selfies taken by Golyar. Masteller said tattoos on the foot in the photo are identical to Cari Farver’s tattoos. He also said the foot in the photo was decomposing…
Golyar waived her right to a jury trial, so her fate is now in the hands of Judge Timothy Burns. Burns said he will issue his verdict Wednesday morning at 9:00.
From Brandon Scott, WOWT.com, May 23, 2017
Full Story at WOWT.com
Harassing messages from person claiming to be missing woman kept coming for years, man testifies at murder trial
May 16, 2017 — For roughly four years, David Kroupa was harassed daily by a steady barrage of texts and emails, seemingly from a woman he had dated for just two weeks.
Some threatened him or the people he knew. Others would claim that the woman was outside his apartment or workplace, with photos to prove it.
The intimidation affected him physically. He gained 30 pounds and drank every night.
It affected him at work. One day someone called the business phone at his Jensen Tire store every minute, but said nothing. No one could work, and his boss was aggravated.
It affected him emotionally. The mother of his two young children and the other women he started to date were also scared. He would circle his home or work, looking for any trace of the alleged harasser, Cari Farver.
“It made it very difficult to be social,” said Kroupa, 40, in a calm and unwavering voice during his daylong testimony. “I couldn’t even use my phone, it’d be beeping all day long.”
Kroupa unwittingly had found himself at the center of an obsession. But it wasn’t Farver who had become obsessed. It was another woman he had dated, authorities allege, Shanna Golyar.
At Golyar’s trial Monday, Kroupa read aloud a tiny percentage of the roughly 12,000 emails he purportedly received from Farver since he last saw her on Nov. 13, 2012. Authorities say Golyar concocted them.
May 11, 2017 — To keep authorities from suspecting her in Cari Farver’s alleged slaying, Shanna Golyar took on the digital persona of her romantic rival, Chief Deputy Douglas County Attorney Brenda Beadle argued in her opening statement Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
Golyar, 41, is charged with first-degree murder and second-degree arson in connection with Farver’s disappearance on Nov. 13, 2012. Wednesday marked the first day of a bench trial expected to last several days. Douglas County District Judge Timothy Burns will decide whether Golyar is acquitted or guilty. Full story at Omaha World-Herald
By Brandon Scott, WOWT.com, Posted Thursday, May 11, 2017
On Thursday, December 22, 2016, Omaha police announced they’d arrested 41-year-old Shanna Golyar at her home in Persia, Iowa, and charged her with first-degree murder in the death of Cari Farver, a woman who may have been a romantic rival.
The 37-year-old Farver spent the night at her boyfriend’s apartment Nov. 12, 2012, and went to work the next morning. She was never seen again.
Her mother, Nancy Raney, reported her daughter missing to the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office in Council Bluffs, Iowa, November 16, 2012.
Officials found Farver’s vehicle in Omaha on January 10, 2013, though Farver’s body was never found. The case went cold, but in February 2016, Pottawattamie County detectives asked the Omaha police cold case unit to assist in the investigation, which led to Golyar’s arrest.
In a press release dated December 22, 2016, police said a grant awarded to the Omaha Police Department’s Cold Case Unit allowed for DNA testing regarding Farver’s homicide.
On Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, Douglas County Judge Craig McDermott ruled that Golyar will stand trial for first-degree murder in Farver’s death. Golyar is being held on $5 million bail.
Case Summary compiled by Jody Ewing
Cari Farver, 37, of Macedonia, Iowa, went missing Tuesday, November 13, 2012. A few days later on Friday, November 16, her mother, Nancy Raney of Carson, Iowa, reported her missing to the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Cari was last seen alive in Omaha, Neb., early in the morning on November 13, 2012, after leaving her boyfriend’s Omaha apartment to go to work.
Officials described her as a 5-foot-7 white female with brown hair, hazel eyes, weighing about 145 pounds, and having four tattoos: a large sun in between her shoulder blades, a tattoo on her left hip, a tattoo on the top of her foot and a flower on her lower back.
She was employed by West Corp., a publicly traded telecommunications services provider based in Omaha.
Her 2002 Ford Explorer was located in Omaha — in her boyfriend’s apartment complex, but next to a different building — on January 10, 2013.
The case went cold, and although Iowa Cold Cases (ICC) received correspondence from readers that Cari was alive and well and posting on Facebook, ICC could find no definitive evidence on the social media site to prove Farver wrote and published the posts, and so chose to keep Farver listed on ICC as a missing person.
Farver also remained listed as a missing person on the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Missing Person Information Clearinghouse website.
In a press release dated Thursday, December 22, 2016, police said a grant awarded to the Omaha Police Department’s Cold Case Unit allowed for DNA testing regarding Farver’s homicide, and on that same day Omaha police announced they’d arrested 41-year-old Shanna Golyar at her home in Persia, Iowa, and charged her with first-degree murder in Cari Farver’s death. Persia is located about 35 miles northeast of Omaha.
In an (Omaha) World-Herald article dated December 24, 2016, police said they believed the slaying took place November 13 or 14, in west Omaha. Golyar and Farver both had been dating the same man.
Golyar was transferred to the Douglas County Jail in Nebraska on Friday, December 23, 2016, after declining to fight extradition.
Suspect Posed as Cari Farver on Internet
Golyar made her first court appearance in the Douglas County Jail on Tuesday, December 27, 2016.
In addition to the first-degree murder charges, Golyar also has been charged with posing as Cari Farver on the Internet to cover up Farver’s slaying.
In an unusual move during Tuesday’s court appearance, Douglas County Judge Lawrence Barrett set Golyar’s bail at $5 million; first-degree murder defendants in both Nebraska and Iowa are normally ordered held without bail.
In a KETV Channel 7 news report Tuesday, December 27, Golyar’s attorney, James Martin Davis, said his client is confused as to why she’s even a suspect. Davis said Golyar and Farver dated the same man but had met each other only once — not enough to tie Golyar to the case, he said.
Davis said in the Channel 7 interview:
“There’s no confessions, no admissions, there’s no body, there’s no murder weapon, there’s no sufficient showing of blood that there was a death that even took place.”
Prosecutors believe have strong case
Prosecutors argue they have a strong case based on the following information:
- Investigators reportedly found the victim’s blood in the boyfriend’s apartment.
- Farver had been dating Golyar’s ex-boyfriend for some weeks.
- Golyar’s relationship with the man drew the attention of Council Bluffs police in December 2015 when Golyar told police she’d been accosted at Big Lake Park and shot in her left thigh and tried to blame the alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound on Farver.
- Golyar’s fingerprints were found on a tin of mints in a front cupholder of Farver’s SUV.
- Prosecutors allege Golyar posed as Farver online and by phone for years after Farver’s disappearance, also posed as other people confessing to killing Farver, and tried to make it look like Farver was still alive but left town.
- Officials said Golyar’s ex-boyfriend received about 10,000 emails that appeared to be from Farver for three years following her disappearance. An analysis of the emails show they were linked to Golyar.
- Douglas County Attorney Brenda Beadle said there is some DNA evidence that does come back to the victim from her vehicle.
- Beadle said there’s a lot of computer and text messaging evidence that will tie the defendant to the case.
Beadle told KETV the investigation continues into whether there are any other suspects and that prosecutors are meeting with a witness [the week of Dec. 26, 2016].
After Golyar’s four-hour preliminary hearing Jan. 18, 2017, a judge ruled that Golyar will stand trial for Farver’s death.
On Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, Golyar waived her right to a jury trial and has opted for a bench trial, scheduled for May 10, 2017. Douglas County District Judge Timothy Burns will decide whether Golyar is guilty in the disappearance and presumed death of Cari Farver.
The trial began as scheduled on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.
Verdict: Guilty — Sentence: Life plus 18 to 20 years for arson
On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Douglas County District Judge Timothy Burns found Golyar guilty of first-degree murder and second-degree arson after 10 days of trial.
On Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, Golyar was sentenced to life to first-degree murder and also given an additional 18 to 20 years for arson. She will serve the sentences consecutively, KCCI.com reported.
“Cari Farver did not voluntarily disappear and drop off the face of the earth,” Burns said just before delivering his verdict, according to an Omaha World-Herald article published May 25, 2017. “Very sadly, she was murdered,” said Burns.
- Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office
- Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office — Missing Persons
- Omaha Police Department
- “FB removes convicted murderer Golyar’s fake profile, another remains,” by Jake Wasikowski, KMTV News Now, Omaha, Wednesday, July 17, 2019
- “Scholarship fund is created in memory of Cari Farver, who was killed in 2012 slaying,” by Alia Conley, The Omaha World-Herald, May 3, 2019
- “Supreme Court rejects appeal in bizarre case of woman who posed as romantic rival after killing her,” by Joe Duggan, The Omaha World-Herald, Saturday, November 10, 2018
- Nebraska Department of Corrections: Inmate Shanna Golyar
- “Iowa woman convicted of killing, impersonating romantic rival asks Nebraska Supreme Court for new trial,” by Joe Duggan, The Daily Nonpareil, August 31, 2018
- “SCORNED,” DATELINE S2018 E60218 | 06/02/18, Keith Morrison reports, nbc.com/dateline, Airdate: June 2, 2018
- “Relatives of murder victim, officials review lessons learned from ‘calculated and bizarre’ case,” by Alia Conley, World-Herald staff writer, April 10, 2018
- “SCORNED,” DATELINE S2017 E929 | 09/29/17, Keith Morrison reports on a love triangle that led to years of stalking, destruction of property, threats and, murder. Airdate: Friday, September 29, 2017
- “Who is Tony Kava?” DATELINE with Keith Morrison, NBCNews.com, Friday, September 29, 2017
- “Macedonia woman’s murder to be featured on NBC’s ‘Dateline’,” by Ryan Matheny, KMALand.com, September 27, 2017
- “Iowa woman gets life sentence in cold case killing,” NewtonDailyNews.com, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017
- Iowa woman sentenced for killing her romantic rival: “These cases are the most challenging murder cases you can have,” Masteller said. By Camila Orti, KETV 7 and KCCI Channel 8, Tuesday, August 15, 2017
- “Judge finds Shanna Golyar guilty of first-degree murder in 2012 slaying of romantic rival,” by Alia Conley, Omaha World-Herald, May 25, 2017
- “Closing arguments in love triangle murder case,” by Brandon Scott, WOWT.com, May 23, 2017
- “Closing arguments delivered in Shanna Golyar trial,” by KMTV Channel 3, 3newsnow.com, May 23, 2017
- “Photo, apparently of slain woman’s foot, links her death to Golyar, prosecutors say,” by Alia Conley, Omaha World-Herald, May 23, 2017
- “Judge to decide verdict on Cari Farver homicide case,” by Camila Orti, KETV.com, May 23, 2017
- “Digital evidence links Shanna Golyar to fake accounts, investigator testifies,” by Alia Conley, Omaha World-Herald, May 19, 2017
- “Almost 100 exhibits introduced in effort to show that Golyar had belongings of missing woman,” by Alia Conley, Omaha World-Herald/BH News Service/Kearney Hub, May 18, 2017
- “Analysis of The Strange Murder Trial of Shanna Golyar,” KFAB Morning News, May 18, 2017
- “Prosecution: Defendant confessed to killing in emails she sent while posing as another woman,” by Alia Conley, Omaha World-Herald, May 17, 2017
- “Prosecution: Golyar confessed to killing in emails she sent while posing as another woman,” by Alia Conley, Omaha World-Herald, May 16, 2017
- “Harassing messages from person claiming to be missing woman kept coming for years, man testifies at murder trial,” by Alia Conley, Omaha World-Herald staff writer, May 16, 2017
- “Golyar blamed burglary, arson on the woman she killed, prosecutors say,” by Alia Conley, Omaha World-Herald, May 13, 2017
- “At murder trial, relatives tell of receiving suspicious messages from writer who claimed to be missing woman,” by Alia Conley, Omaha World-Herald, May 12, 2017
- “Day 2: New developments in alleged love-triangle murder trial,” by Brandon Scott, WOWT.com, May 11, 2017
- “Trial begins for Iowa women who prosecutors say killed, then impersonated her romantic rival,” by Alia Conley, Omaha World-Herald, May 11, 2017
- “Trial begins in alleged love-triangle murder,” by Roger Hammer and Brandon Scott, WOWT.com, May 10, 2017
- “Attorney for defendant in love triangle says prosecutors can’t prove murder,” by Todd Cooper, World-Herald staff writer, Jan. 27, 2017
- “Judge grants bench trial request for suspect accused in cold case homicide,” by John Chapman, WOWT.com, Jan. 26, 2017
- “Persia woman charged with pleads not guilty, opts for bench trial,” The Daily Nonpareil, Jan. 26, 2017
- “Iowa woman accused of killing romantic rival, then posing as her in texts and emails to cover it up,” by Alia Conley, Omaha World-Herald, Jan. 20, 2017
- “Persia woman charged with 2012 murder of Macedonia woman,” RadioIowa.com, Jan. 20, 2017
- “Iowa woman to stand trial in cold case killing,” Associated Press / Des Moines Register, Jan. 19, 2017
- “Iowa woman accused in another woman’s killing to stand trial,” The Sioux City Journal, Jan. 19, 2017
- “Prosecutors: Woman charged with murder in 2012 disappearance posed as victim online to cover up death,” by Alla Conley and Andrew J. Nelson, Omaha World-Herald staff writers, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016
- “Bond set for woman in connection to 2012 cold case homicide,” by Josh Planos, KETV.com, Dec. 27, 2016
- “Bail set at $5M for suspect in alleged murder of missing Iowa woman: A judge sets bail at $5M for an Iowa woman charged with first-degree murder in the death of a woman reported missing four years ago,” by Chinh Doan, KETV.com, Dec. 27, 2016
- “Iowa woman charged with murder in 2012 disappearance extradited to Omaha,” by Andrew J. Nelson, Omaha World-Herald, Dec. 24, 2016
- “Iowa woman charged in death of woman in Omaha,” Newton Daily News, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016
- “Iowa woman charged in death of woman last seen in 2012: Omaha police say an Iowa woman has been charged with murder in connection with the 2012 disappearance of a woman,” Associated Press/KCCI.com, Dec. 23, 2016
- “Iowa woman arrested on murder charge in 2012 missing person case,” WOWT.com, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016
- “Iowa woman charged in death of woman last seen in Omaha,” The Associated Press, Dec. 22, 2016
- Missing Person Information Clearinghouse / Iowa Department of Public Safety