Connie Ruddy

Connie Ruddy (Courtesy KTIV)

Connie Marie Ruddy

Homicide

Connie Marie Ruddy
21 YOA
305 Burns St.
Ida Grove, Iowa
Ida County
February 10, 1997

Case Summary by Jody Ewing

 

Connie Ruddy, a 21-year-old mother of two, was reported missing from her Ida Grove, Iowa home on Monday, February 10, 1997. Her 2-year-old daughter and 3-month-old son were found alone inside the residence, unharmed.

Ruddy had last been seen by her sister around 11 p.m. Saturday, February 8, in Ruddy’s home. About 10:30 a.m. Monday, a friend stopped by and discovered Ruddy gone and her children alone. Ruddy’s car was still at the house and she hadn’t taken her purse.

Ida County in Iowa

Ida County in Iowa

Those who knew her described Ruddy as a responsible young mother — one who wouldn’t leave her children unattended — and knew her disappearance indicated something was wrong.

Ida County Sheriff Dave Jensen requested assistance from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI).

A graduate of Mallard High School, Ruddy had lived in Ida Grove for two years and wasn’t employed outside the home. Her husband, Shad Ruddy, was in the Army and stationed at Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Wash., but the two were going through a divorce.

On Saturday, February 15, officials and volunteers mounted a search for Ruddy, bringing in dogs to see if they could determine whether Ruddy had gotten into a vehicle or left on foot. Ida County’s Emergency Management Coordinator Dick Madsen and the Siouxland Area Chapter of the American Red Cross assisted in arranging the search, which produced no new clues or information.

“We’ve got a big fat zero here,” Jensen is quoted as saying in a Sioux City Journal article dated February 16, 1997. “Most questions I have to respond with “I don’t know, I don’t know.'”

Crawford County in Iowa

Crawford County in Iowa

On August 31, 1999, more than two years after she went missing, a man looking for fossils near Ida Grove found a human jawbone on the Boyer River’s sandbar in Crawford County near Dow City.

The fossil hunter took the mandible to the Crawford County sheriff’s office, and Sheriff Tom Hogan — already treating it like a homicide — immediately had the scene sealed off and a guard posted while sheriff’s officials and the National Guard searched along the river and surrounding area for additional evidence.

“Because you can’t go back and secure the crime scene,” Hogan said in Journal article dated November 5, 2005. “You get one bite at that apple. If you blow it, you can’t go back and say, ‘let’s start over.'”

Officials were unable to recover any further evidence.

Hogan told the Journal a process of elimination led them to Ida County and Ruddy’s relatively recent disappearance.

Once experts confirmed the jawbone matched Ruddy’s dental records, officials reclassified the former missing persons case as a homicide investigation.

wade-harriman-connie-ruddy-caseCourtesy photo KMEG-TV
A DCI special agent and Ida County Sheriff Wade Harriman announced a $5,000 reward for information in Ruddy’s death during a Feb. 10, 2009 press conference.
Offer $5,000 Reward

On Tuesday, February 10, 2009 — the 12-year anniversary of Ruddy’s disappearance — the Iowa DCI and the Ida County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference to announce a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Ruddy’s death.

“We want to remind folks that this case is still open and we haven’t forgot about it and we know Connie’s family has not forgot about it,” said Ida County Sheriff Wade Harriman. “We want to re-energize the case any way we can and hopefully get some help from the public so we can move this case forward.”

Connie Ruddy’s parents, Mary and Gary Neumayer, told KTIV Channel 4 News they were hopeful that the new attention being brought to the case would help them find out what actually happened to their daughter.

“There is probably not a day that goes by that I don’t think about her or remember her,” Gary Neumayer told KTIV’s Rebecca Sunshine.

connie-ruddy-with-children-ktivCourtesy photo KTIV-TV
Connie Ruddy with her two children shortly before her disappearance.

He described his first-born daughter as a quiet and very caring person who loved her children and animals, and as someone who never hurt anybody.

Ruddy’s mother said that despite the 12 years since her daughter was last seen, it hadn’t kept the family from hoping they could still find answers.

“Eventually I think it will be solved,” Mary Neumayer said.

During the Feb. 10 press conference, Harriman said officials had no new evidence in the case — they still had only the jawbone with which to work — but that they weren’t giving up.

The Neumayers buried their daughter’s jawbone for some type of closure, and said they took comfort in a promise from the sheriff’s office.

“The one thing they’ve told us, they’ll never close the case,” Gary Neumayer told KTIV. “It will always be open until they do find out what happened to her.”

gary-and-mary-neumayer-ktiv-ruddy-caseCourtesy photo KTIV-TV
Gary and Mary Neumayer said they take comfort in the Ida County Sheriff’s Office’s commitment to solving their daughter’s case.

To date, no arrests have been made in Connie Ruddy’s unsolved murder.

About Connie Ruddy

Connie Marie (Neumayer) Ruddy was born December 8, 1975, in Emmetsburg, Iowa, the daughter of Gary and Mary (Richter) Neumayer. She grew up and received her education in Mallard.

She married Shad Ruddy on February 21, 1994. Most recently, she lived in Ida Grove, where she was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Memorial services were held September 15, 1999 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Ida Grove. The Rev. Gerald M. Fisch officiated.

Survivors included two children, Autumn Marie of Mallard and Austin of Ida Grove; her husband, Shad Ruddy of Mallard; her parents, Gary and Mary Neumayer of Ida Grove; two brothers, Jason Neumayer of Atlanta, Ga., and Kyle Neumayer of Ida Grove; a sister and her husband, Amy and Chris Jochims of Honolulu, Hawaii; paternal grandmother, Velma Neumayer of Mallard; maternal grandmother, Enid Richter of Rolfe; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives.

Information Needed

Anyone with any information about Connie Ruddy’s disappearance and death is asked to contact the Ida County Sheriff’s Office at 712-364-3146, or anonymously at the Ida County Crime Stoppers line at 1-800-568-4401. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation continues to assist in the investigation and may be reached at (515) 725-6010.

Sources:

 

Copyright © 2017 Iowa Cold Cases, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

20 Responses to Connie Ruddy

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  2. daniel says:

    connie you may be gone but you are not forgotten. we all miss you very much and one day we will find the people resonsible for this horrific crime. may you one day rest in peace

    from a child hood friend and school mate
    Daniel

  3. I miss you so much mom… I wish you were still here, I think about you every day. Wishing I knew what actually happened and who did this to you… I love you mom. Always and forever.
    ~autumn

  4. Jason ruchti says:

    I remember her just like it was yesterday she was such an awesome woman I remember hanging out with her at different times she always put a big smile on my face I would love to see the killer brought to justice and be able to look at him eye to eye and then slap the hell out of him

  5. Prayers for the family

  6. She was a nice girl. She went to school in Emmetsburg for a while!

  7. I remember all that…how sad!

  8. T.W. Hess says:

    If only real life could duplicate the success of ‘true crime’ TV shows. So sad.

    …tom…

  9. Megs Ron Rik says:

    She was a kind and gentle gal, soft spoken. She went to school Emmetsburg for a bit!!
    Such a terrible loss…
    Praying for answers!!

  10. Autumn Marie ruddy says:

    Hey mom…it’s me again. I haven’t been on here in awhile, reading this still hurts so much. It was you’re birthday not that long ago….so I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday. You’re grand daughter Adriana is getting so big…she turned a year old January 3rd. I wish you were here so you could meet her, I know she would of loved you very much. I miss and love you so much mom…you’ll always be in my heart.

  11. Sean Gray says:

    Went to school with her. She was quiet and shy but very nice. Sad story.

  12. Mega Rae says:

    So sad!!!
    She went to Emmetsburg for a couple years, and was sincerely nice to every single person.. It was devastating when we found out:(
    I pray for someone to say something- her family and babies deserve closure-
    As she would have never hurt a fly:(

  13. Very sad.i so agree with you Mega Rae. I didn’t know her put my heart and thoughts and prayers with the family and friends. God bless all of you. Hope , and faith.

  14. Autumn Ruddy says:

    Hey mom…It’s me. I wanted to let you know your grand daughter is turning 2. It’s crazy how time flies. I wish you could be here to see, you would love her. She’s a little ball of energy haha.. Anyway, you are always on my mind. I love you mom you’ll forever be in my heart.
    Forever and always,
    Your Daughter and Grand daughter <3

  15. Lu says:

    Very sad…What a beautiful girl with an infectious smile..My thoughts & prayers go out to her family & friends..Hopefully they will.be able to solve her case someday and find the person who did this….RIP Connie…

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