Corinne Elaine Perry (Courtesy Perry family)

Corinne Elaine Perry (Courtesy Frank Gale, Creston, IA)

Corinne Elaine Perry


Corinne Elaine Perry
17 YOA
Case # 83-02161
Creston, Iowa
Union County
April 17, 1983


Case summary by Jody Ewing

Corinne Perry, 17, had everything going for her.

The Creston High School senior had just earned a scholarship to college and planned to double major in psychology and acting. She belonged to the school’s mime troop, acted in several school plays, and also participated in Speech contests.

She was last seen Sunday, April 17, 1983 at a coin-operated laundromat in Creston, Iowa. According to authorities, a man walked out of the laundromat right behind the teen sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m. the night she disappeared.

The following day, her car — with the clothes neatly folded and lying on the seat — was found parked at the laundromat. Her purse turned up on a highway bridge seven miles away between Kent and Lenox, Iowa.

Union County in Iowa
Union County in Iowa
Creston in Union CountyCreston in Union County

Officials described the missing teen as a 5-foot-7 white female with strawberry blonde hair, gray eyes, a fair complexion and weighing 110 pounds.

The close friends with whom Corinne spent much of her time were instrumental in helping get out flyers and raising money toward a reward fund.

DCI Announces Reward

Three weeks after she went missing, Gerald Shanahan, chief of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), announced a $2,500 reward for information that would help authorities locate the popular senior high student.

Shanahan said Miss Perry’s family offered the reward through the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Creston.

On the one-month anniversary of Perry’s disappearance, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad conditionally approved a proposal to remove the 72 hours some law enforcement agencies were required to wait before asking the DCI for help in missing person cases with suspected foul play.

A law enforcement officer at the event said some agencies would take immediate action if cases seemed to involve foul play, while other agencies might wait 24 hours.

gerald-shanahan-bci-dciCourtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety
DCI Chief Gerald Shanahan announced a $2,500 reward three weeks after Perry went missing.

A DCI official said most agencies had to wait 72 hours before asking for state investigators’ help.

“I have no problems with removing [the 72-hour wait],” Branstad said on Tuesday, May 17, 1983, as reported by the Dubuque Telegraph Herald.

Branstad signed a proclamation declaring May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day, which remains in effect still today.

Joining him were Noreen and John Gosch, parents of missing Des Moines paperboy Johnny Gosch, Corinne Perry’s sister and her mother Barbara Perry of Creston, and the directors of the national non-profit organization “Child Find.”

National Missing Children’s Day — an annual United States observance designed to highlight the problem of child abduction — falls on May 25 in honor of 6-year-old New Yorker Etan Patz, who disappeared May 25, 1979 on his way to school.

The worst possible outcome

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, 1984 — nearly two years after Corinne went missing — her remains were discovered near a creek bed in a shallow grave south of Creston between Kent and Lenox, fairly close to the bridge where her purse had been found.

Due to the length of time since she’d gone missing, the coroner could not establish how she died.

Creston High School responded to news of Corinne’s death by starting a Drama scholarship in her name.

When Corinne’s family learned that a man who used to live in Southwest Iowa was discovered to have killed several women in Kansas City, they alerted the DCI, but no definite connections were ever made.

When the DCI established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Corinne Perry’s murder was one of approximately 150 cases listed on the Cold Case Unit’s new website as those the DCI hoped to solve using latest advancements in DNA technology.

Although federal grant funding for the DCI Cold Case Unit was exhausted in December 2011, the DCI continues to assign agents to investigate cold cases as new leads develop or as technological advances allow for additional forensic testing of original evidence.

The DCI remains committed to resolving Iowa’s cold cases and will continue to work diligently with local law enforcement partners to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice for the victims and their families.

Corinne Elaine Perry senior photo (Courtesy Facebook Memorial)

Corinne Elaine Perry senior photo (Courtesy Frank Gale, Creston, IA)

About Corinne Perry

Corinne Elaine Perry was born to Donald and Barbara Perry on August 28, 1965, at an air base in Libya where her father was stationed with the Air Force.

In addition to her parents, she was survived by three siblings.

Corinne’s father passed away in 2001 without answers in his daughter’s unsolved murder.

Corinne was laid to rest at Prairie Rose Cemetery in Corning, Iowa, in Adams County.

Information Needed

Anyone with information regarding Corinne Perry’s unsolved murder is asked to contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010, email [email protected], or contact the Creston Police Department at (641) 782-8402.



Copyright © 2020 Iowa Cold Cases, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

43 Responses to Corinne Perry

  1. Philinise Y Martin says:

    What a Stunningly beatiful Girl she was. I know she is with the Creator. Prayers for her family and I hope that whomever did this will come forward!

  2. Gay Appelhans says:

    happy birthday in heaven corrine I so wish you would have been able to live you life and I pray they find the demonic evil person who took you to soon from your loved ones …

  3. Margaret says:

    It says people saw somebody follow her out of the laundromat. Was there not a sketch made?

  4. Melanie Wood says:

    I agree someone should be looked at even if they have a disability. There is a Case here in MN where a guy in a Wheelchair killed a Woman in his Car. And evidence was linked DIRECTLY TO HIM. I still can’t wrap my head around that one but it happens. For saying this one guy couldn’t have done it. Well no one could believe the WONDERFUL TED BUNDY could do it either.

  5. David Blair says:

    I still wonder where Ted Bundy was about then (think he was driving across the country)… and also there were a lot of railroaders who had been working down in that very area where her body was found. Sadly they found that purse and seemed to think her body would be no where in the vicinity… Stupid thinking iMHO.

    • Dana Cunningham says:

      Theodore Bundy was captured in FLORIDA in 1978.
      Bundy was put to death in 1989, in Starkes, Florida.

      He was NOT roaming the country in 1983.

  6. Lori says:

    What is the man who lived in southwest Iowa who killed people in KC anyone know

  7. I think of her every time I drive over the bridge

  8. I so agree with you, Gay Anne Appelhans, my heart and thoughts are with the family, I pray someone comes forward.

  9. what a shame such a beautiful woman and we missed the chance 2 c her heart she will always b n my prayers

  10. I truly think this case could and should be solved it is sad i remember it well she was a beautiful person inside and out I think there are people out there that know things and have never came forward I wish they would so her family would know what happened to her loved one..

  11. Marla Vrieze says:

    Wow, this is so sad. I didn’t know her super well. We were partners in science lab. I do seem to remember that she had a really quick wit about her. i no longer lived in Creston when she went missing but remember seeing it all over the news. Hope she is resting in the arms of her heavenly father and that her earthly father is also right there by her side. <3

  12. Gay appelhans says:

    I grew up knowing Jeff and he was really just a normal guy this whole thing in Kansas City just blew me away at the time she went missing he was a cop in afton 10 miles away

  13. Jeff Moreland was a police officer in afton ia prior to moving to kc he was a familiar person to a lot of union co people he was a trustworthy person I have known him since high school he graduated class of 77 east union afton ia married a close friend of mine they had a daughter while they were both in high school then later divorced,Jeffs parents and brother remain in the afton area all who knew Jeff find it hard to believe him to be a cold blooded killer he was very mild mannered.I know Jeff was a officer policeman for Afton during this time asst to Harold Dalton,I still find it hard to believe the Jeff I knew and trusted and considered a friend was guilty of murder.I also knew the Perry family well and hope and pray someday they find answers and justice

  14. Bird says:

    Ron Williams bragged about killing Corine to my cousin in prison. He told the
    same story to an acquaintance.

  15. Rae says:

    Jeff Moreland could be a possible suspect. He was my real father’s partner on the Grandview police force. I don’t believe that 52 year old man waited all those years to kill someone, no matter if he has Palsy or not.

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Rae, you may be onto something here. Prior to joining the Grandview (MO) PD in 1984, Jeffrey Dean Moreland worked as an officer in Afton, Iowa, in Union County — the same county where Corinne was slain in 1983. Is it possible he left his position in Iowa out of fear of being caught? He spent 21 years with the Grandview PD before retiring in 2005 due to “palsy” but continued killing and raping.

      In July 2011, Moreland was arrested and charged with murdering Cara Jo Roberts of Harrisonville (MO) in 2008, Nina Whitney of south Kansas City in 2010, and raping a third woman also in Missouri. DNA from the rape kit matched DNA in both Cara Jo Roberts’ murder and that of Nina Whitney.

      I’m still looking for a more complete timeline of his whereabouts in the years preceding his 1984 – 2005 career with Grandview Police. Different M.O.’s for all his vics, but as a cop, he would have known all about profiling and used different tactics to kill/rape each woman.

      Any Iowans here who remember his days with the Afton Police Department?Too many coincidences to be a coincidence? Dates and times matter. Please let us know if you have further information.

      • Eileen Lynch says:

        The elderly woman killed in Kansas City, That case is similar to the one in Shannon City IA. The man convicted always said he di dnot do it.

      • Cindy Swoyer says:

        yes definitely needs to be explored more—I moved to Creston in 1985–it seems as if it was just “forgotten” or swept under the table–the laundromat became a bank……just strange and eerie……………

      • Stay Strong, Keep Fighting For Justice! says:

        This theory, which seems very plausible to me, squares with the Gay Anne Appelhans’ account above that claims to know the family whom also evidently felt that a former Afton police officer is responsible.

        To your request Jody, perhaps she can either offer information that can help.

    • Eileen lynch says:

      I agree 100%. It really needs to be looked at as a suspect!

  16. were any of these missing females pregnant…females are dangerous more so than males they want a baby they will get it anyway they can and YES there is satanic cults out there that use embryos and infants in there rituals

    • Notelling says:

      That is pretty far out there lady. The only embryos used ever are that of chickens. Also known as eggs.

      Signed with blessings,
      The pagan.

    • Phillinise Y Hamlin says:

      Your comment is truly repulsive! Did you forget that Corinne’s Family and Community are not only looking at what we say but also STILL in 2017, trying to wonder what happen,why, and Who would Hurt Her. Put yourself in her families shoes? Do you have any idea? do you? How terrible. Go on a a forum designed to ask such sick questions oppose to having this put on the hearts and minds of others…I really hope something like this never happens to you

  17. How sad this young lady never got to live her life. Why? Praying for justice.

  18. corinne elaine was a beautiful woman with life left to live i knew the perry family well good people I personally have a feeling they know who did this to her and just not enough to charge,i know there was alot of speculation that a former afton police officer who has since been convicted of homicide in kansas city was a suspect I sure wish they could solve this for her moms sake rip

  19. Diana Wilson says:

    So sad. It’s hard to believe someone can keep what they did a secret so long.

  20. She was in Alan’s high school class.

  21. I remembered her disappearance but didn’t know her body was found.

  22. Tom Zarifis says:

    Hometown girl, was terrible.

  23. This is her sister and I would like you to contact me regarding some correction to this article. My email is [email protected]

    • Monica Miner says:

      This happened so many years ago, but I have always kept in the back of my mind how I was walking home from school in the winter of 1982 and a man in a red truck had approached me after circling the neighborhood many times. He stopped and motioned me over to him. I just stood there while he asked me where Bill Barber’s grocery store was. I just took off cutting through yards to make my way home. I saw him circling the blocks a few other days but I was with friends. I was only in 6th grade at the time and did not say much about it back then, but my mother & I have had many conversations over the years about this incident. My mother told me later that at that time what used to be Bill Barber’s grocery store was made into an apartment building. There is no doubt in my mind that if I had went any closer to him I would not be here today. He was a heavy young adult male with curly hair.

  24. Rob Perry says:

    Corinne was my cousin and I have fond memories of time with her and her sisters at my Grandparent’s home in Creston. I hope that one day her murder is solved.

  25. Laura Riste says:

    I remember seeing her photo in a missing kids pamphlet at school.

  26. Bobby Jack Fowler lived in the area, he has been connected to a series of murders in Canada.

  27. Jennifer says:

    Corrine was an occasional babysitter for my sister and I when we lived in Kent. I always check on her case every few years to see if there is any update. Her disappearance (and eventual discovery) was a formative memory for me. I hope one day they they solve her murder.

  28. I was stationed in Germany when my Mom told me about this. I was floored the Perry sister use to square dance with us at the Episcopal church.

  29. I remember this–went to school with her sisters

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