Corey Poffenberger

Robert “Corey” Poffenberger


Robert “Corey” Poffenberger
30 YOA
2211 East 37th St.
Des Moines, IA
Polk County
Case # 2003-42059
October 24, 2003


Case summary by Jody Ewing

Photos Courtesy Cindy Poffenberger

Robert “Corey” Poffenberger was shot and killed early Friday morning October 24, 2003, in the driveway of his 2211 East 37th St. home in Des Moines.

The 30-year-old Mediacom employee had been shot several times in the chest, and was found outside the open door of his vehicle, the car still idling.

Poffenberger’s wallet was left untouched, and officials found nothing missing from his home.

Poffenberger had bought the home — a bank forfeiture — just five months earlier from Wells Fargo Bank.

There has never been any significant clues or leads to find out who killed him.

In October 2006, Polk County Crime Stoppers, with the financial support of Poffenberger’s family, announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for Poffenberger’s death.

“We don’t know if there was a witness,” Des Moines police spokesman Sgt. Todd Dykstra told KCCI in an interview for a story airing Oct. 20, 2006. “If there was, we hope this will be an incentive to call Crime Stoppers.”

Poffenberger’s mother, Cindy Poffenberger, told Channel 8 that Corey had an unbelievable love for his family, his friends, his co-workers and his colleagues.

Corey Poffenberger“Every day, we miss his sense of humor, his laughter, his smile and his quick wit,” Cindy Poffenberger said.

Greg Willey, a board member of Polk County Crime Stoppers, told the Des Moines newsweekly Cityview that he got to meet the Poffenberger family and see their faces, something he normally doesn’t get to do.

“To put a face with the situation makes you want to do something for them,” Willey said in the August 2008 Cityview story. “The only things we can do is put the information out there and have a stream of funds. You would hope as a community somebody saw something and will come forward. Even among criminals there is a code of conduct.”

PCCS members said most Iowans are willing to aid law enforcement officials by providing anonymous tips leading to cash rewards, but sometimes battle public fear of reprisal, an attitude of apathy and a reluctance to get involved.

Gabriel Glynn, sponsorship coordinator for CSI and president and founder of Asset Protection Specialists in Ankeny, told Cityview:

“It’s becoming more prevalent in Des Moines as we have people from big cities like Chicago and Kansas City move here. In bigger inner cities you see people wearing ‘No snitching’ or ‘Snitch and die’ T-shirts. Part of it is gangster rappers that support ‘No snitch’ campaigns. We’re fighting a battle to get the information out, but there’s a battle on the streets, too.”

Glynn said it’s important we head off the ‘No snitching’ problem before it begins.

“In Iowa we’re all friends and neighbors and we watch out for each other, but it’s not like that in big cities where if something happens you look the other way,” he said.

As the 9th anniversary of their son’s unsolved murder approaches, Joe and Cindy Poffenberger are once again making a public appeal for anyone who knows anything to come forward with the information. They hope the reward might serve as an incentive.

About Corey

Robert “Corey” Poffenberger was born July 5, 1973, in Bluffton, Indiana, the son of Joe and Cindy (Smith) Poffenberger of Rome City. He graduated from Hamilton High School in 1992 and Indiana University in 1996, where he was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity.

After graduation, Corey moved to Las Vegas and worked as a club manger for four years before moving to Minneapolis. He later moved to Des Moines to work as a Marketing Coordinator with Mediacom.

In addition to his parents, Corey was survived by his sister, Kelli Poffenberger of Muncie; friend, Justin Sims of Muncie; and grandmother, Mrs. Don (Joyce) Shady of Bluffton.

He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Ralph Smith; and grandparents, Robert and Maude Poffenberger.

Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 30, with calling one hour prior, at Thoma/Rich, Hewitt & Chaney Funeral Home, Bluffton, with Larry Sprinke officiating. Corey was buried at Elm Grove Cemetery in Bluffton, Wells County, Indiana.

corey-poffenberger-gravestoneCourtesy photo Thomas Liby,
Corey Poffenberger is buried at Elm Grove Cemetery in Bluffton, Wells County, Indiana.
Information Needed

If you have any information regarding Corey Poffenberger’s unsolved murder, please contact the Des Moines Police Department Detective Bureau at (515) 283-4864 or Polk County CrimeStoppers at (515) 223-1400. Callers may remain anonymous.

** Read the special tribute written by Corey’s family.

Download the Reward Poster PDF | MS Word


WHO-TV Channel 13 (Des Moines) report on the unsolved 2003 murder of Corey Poffenberger.
Air date Nov. 3, 2011

Cindy Pofenberger

Corey’s mother, Cindy Poffenberger, passed away Sept. 17, 2017.


Corey’s mother, Cynthia “Cindy” Poffenberger, 65, passed away Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, without ever seeing justice served in her son’s unsolved murder. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Poffenberger family and Cindy’s many friends. She touched so many lives and will be deeply missed.



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20 Responses to Corey Poffenberger

  1. Downs says:

    Here are some random questions I have on this case.

    1. Were there any bonuses or commissions Marketing Coordinators at Mediacom could receive at the time? I’ve seen situations where someone was killed because another person in the company felt like they stole their commission.

    2. How many friends did he have in Iowa? Were they mostly work friends?

    3. Was he seeing anyone romantically or any evidence that he was? If so, maybe someone else was unhappy about that.

    4. What was his personality like? Was he the type of guy who picked on people in high school? The pictures make him look like a stereotypical “bro” at the time. I’m wondering if he could have just maybe bothered the wrong person.

    5. Did he have an active social life? Was he going out to bars and clubs in Des Moines?

    6. What club did he work at in Las Vegas? What was his reason for leaving that job and moving to Minneapolis? What did he do in Minneapolis? How did he get the Mediacom position in Iowa? Did he move because of the job or did he move first and then find work? I’m just wondering if he burned some bridges along the way.

  2. Chad w says:

    I’m just throwing this out there…. anyone ever thought it might have been a gang initiation? Kill somebody random to prove one’s worth for a gang? Prayers to the family…..

    • Reginal says:

      No, it’s not a racist thing, like you are suggesting. He got wrapped up with some named Di or Ty, and then a man she knew killed him. My sense is they were using him and things got messy because of drugs.

      • greg says:

        Reginal – i am a very old friend of Cory’s…wondering where you heard about the “Ty or Di” info….is this something that is well known?

  3. anon says:

    It appears that Corey’s mother has passed before seeing justice in her sons case. Thoughts and prayers to the family.

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Thanks so much for sharing this, anon. I’m deeply saddened by her death and appreciate all the photos she shared with me for use on Corey’s page. It’s such a tragic thing to leave this earth not knowing what happened to one’s beloved son. My heartfelt condolences go out to her remaining family and friends.

  4. LuAnn says:

    So heartbreaking. …My thoughts & prayers to Cory’s Family…I was also going to say that maybe the people who had owned the house before Cory got pissed off about him buying it…They couldn’t make the payments so the bank foreclosed on it…Have they been questioned by the police? I would really be looking hard at them as suspects…. Hopefully the police will be able to get this case solved so the family can have some closure. ..RIP Cory..

  5. Diana Wilson says:

    Let’s solve these!!!

  6. I hope that one day the murderer will be found.

  7. Prayers for the family. I pray for justice for them.

  8. Dawn says:

    Who owned the house before it was foreclosed? How mad were they?

  9. My heart goes out to his family and friend to. I know what the famliy is goin through. My son was shot and killed. So sorry

  10. Lori says:

    First of all, I don’t mean to say anything negative about Corey so please don’t think that. And if I’m totally off base accept my sincere apology.

    What I can surmise from the history of Corey is that he was gay, (friend Justin mentioned in the obituary) have the past partners of Corey been looked at? He spent 4 years in Vegas and then it mentioned he moved to Minneapolis but doesn’t say how long he was there.

    I hope the killer is found so Corey’s family and friends can finally, finally get some sense of justice. He is loved and he is missed every single day…

  11. Erin Lawless says:

    Just curious… was the former owner of his home, i.e.. the one whom was foreclosed. eliminated as a suspect? My prayers and hopes to his family!

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