Connie Ruddy

Connie Ruddy (Courtesy KTIV)

Connie Marie Ruddy


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.



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36 Responses to Connie Ruddy

  1. Autumn Ruddy says:

    Hey mom, it’s me again. Little update, Freya was born a month and a half early. She is 8 months old now and today we are taking her to her first pumpkin patch with dad! She is also getting so close to crawling! Wish you were here, you’d absolutely love her. We love and miss you so much mom. Stay close. ❤

  2. batman says:

    Why are you suggesting this guy for multiple cases? i.e. Elaine Doris, Roberta Crawford, etc ???

    • batman says:

      I see…do you have any information on him? I can’t seem to find anything and I’m interested in him in relation to another case.

  3. Autumn M Ruddy says:

    Hi mom, it’s me again. Today is a very hard day for all of us. 25 years and still no answers… I still hope for the day we have some closure and justice.
    I talked with a news reporter today, in hopes to get things out there..
    I love you mom, to the moon and beyond…not a day goes by where I don’t think about you.
    Love always, Autumn ❤

  4. Alexandria Marie says:

    Hey mom, its me again. Been thinking of you a lot. Grandpa (on dads side) isn’t doing the best lately.. so been trying to think positive but it gets hard at times.
    I am getting married in a few months :) youd absolutely love him. We are flying out to iowa next month to see everyone, its been about a year. So that will be really nice.
    I love and miss you very much and I wish so much that you could be here to watch me walk down the isle and watch my family grow, but i know you’re watching over me ♡

  5. Phil says:

    This literally breaks my heart! who takes the life of a Mother! Come on,please somebody knows something! Realize that if it were you, you would want closure and peace! please help out Autumn and her family. Connie deserves justice and didnt deserve this!!!

    • Autumn says:

      Thank you Phil it is much appreciated. People say it will get easier but honestly it doesnt. All the questions keep running through my head like a movie… I wish she was here to see me get married and watch her granddaughter grow… but someone took that away… one day we will find closure…

      • Jaremy lee says:

        I’ve been sitting here reading all these comments not knowing what to say, I’m very sorry for your loss, when we were in school we dated for a long time and it’s been so hard to find the right words to express my heart felt sympathy for you all! The person or persons responsible for this will receive 10 fold of the torture and pain they have caused you all! My deepest condolences! Jaremy

      • carolkean says:

        “People say it will get easier but honestly it doesn’t.”
        My heart breaks for you.
        My sister Julie is an Iowa Cold Case. Two more sisters have died before age 65, leaving behind daughters and granddaughters, who will never get to know their grandma.
        Our dad is gone now; our mom soldiers on, but the loss of a loved one, especially to murder, is a lifelong cross to bear. Cancer is a serial killer too, but it’s impersonal. It’s an aberration of nature. What aberration has human beings killing innocent young women and tearing apart their families. Sorry – I started out hoping to offer you the small solace that you are not alone in this – and as always, my anger and outrage leap out instead.
        All Connie’s grandchildren will know her through you – it’s apparent you are are keeping her legacy alive – God bless you! (Wish I could offer actual healing words of comfort!)

  6. Autumn says:

    Hey mom it’s me again writing on your birthday… adriana will be 5 next month! I got out of Iowa, now living in Oregon with the love of my life. Things are going well :)
    I hope you have a happy heavenly birthday. Miss and love you dearly ♡ GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

  7. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    Autumn, the questions I asked are some basic stuff. In investigations, authorities try to develop a idea of the victim. Earlier this year in Miami County, Ohio, they finally identified a young woman, who had been found murdered in April 1981.

    She was originally known as the “Buck Skin Girl”, and now they knew who she was. Her mother never reported her missing, and was waiting for her to come home. So, with her name, they could fill in some blanks in her life. They knew she had been in Pittsburg, a month before she was murdered. She was from Arkansas.

    So, the more information we have about Connie, it means more information that could lead to someone who might some minor little tidbit, that she was having a problem, with someone, a landlord, someone where she worked. Someone could have been supporting her, or whatever, and they got upset with her enough that he or she kidnapped her and murdered her.

    it comes under something called Victimolgy.

    • Erin Thompson says:

      Just curious, were you in the military with Connie’s husband? Do you believe there is a link to the “Buckskin Girl” and Connie Ruddy?
      I wish there was more information out there to help Connie and her family get the justice and answers they deserve.

  8. Autumn says:

    Hey mom, it was your birthday on the 8th… just wanted to say happy birthday and I miss you. Adriana will be turning 4, wish you were here to watch her grow up…we love and miss you mom, forever and always

  9. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    I wonder how she supported herself and her two kids, while her husband was stationed in Fort Lewis. Also, was she renting the place where they lived. Also, she was in the process of getting a divorce from her husband. I wonder what the reason for the divorce was. Did she have a new boyfriend. I assume they did not live at Fort Lewis, due him not being eligible for off base housing.

  10. Autumn Marie Ruddy says:

    Hey mom…its me again. I met the love of my life and we are expecting another baby..I wish you were here so you can meet your grand daughter, she turns 3 in January.. Not a day goes by where you aren’t on my mind. I love and miss you mom and I know you’re watching me from above. Fly high <3

  11. Lu says:

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

  12. 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

  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. 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:(

  15. Sean Gray says:

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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!!

  18. T.W. Hess says:

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


  19. I remember all that…how sad!

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

  21. Prayers for the family

  22. 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

  23. Autumn Marie Ruddy says:

    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.

  24. 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

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