Dan Heiber

Daniel Hieber (Obituary photo)

Daniel Hieber


Daniel “Dan” Eugene Hieber
58 YOA
Home Residence: Castana, Iowa
Death Location: 823 Main Street, Mapleton
Monona County
Sunday, September 20, 2015


Case Summary compiled by Iowa Cold Cases
Monona County in Iowa
Monona County in Iowa
Mapleton in Monona CountyMapleton in Monona County

Daniel “Dan” Hieber, 58, of Castana, Iowa, was found unresponsive and near death at the bottom of a staircase in a Mapleton residence early on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015. An ambulance transported Hieber to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, where he was pronounced dead.

Mapleton police were summoned to the 823 Main Street home around 1:25 a.m. by the woman who owned the home, who told officers Hieber had “fallen down the stairs.”

An early press release by Mapleton Police Chief Jared Clausen said officers were dispatched to the Mapleton residence around 1:25 a.m. Saturday, though other reports state Hieber was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at the Sioux City hospital, which was less than a one-hour drive from Mapleton. Hieber’s official date of death is Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015.

Brenda DaileyCourtesy photo Facebook.com
Brenda Dailey was found at the bottom of her basement stairs on Aug. 24, 2015.

The alleged “fell-down-the-steps-and-died” story was the second to occur in Mapleton in less than a month.

Hieber’s suspicious death came three and a half weeks after 53-year-old Brenda Dailey was beaten in her 702 Monona Street home Aug. 24, 2015, and allegedly pushed down her basement stairs, where paramedics found her unresponsive.

In Dailey’s case, the Mapleton Police Department requested the assistance of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), and that case is ongoing.

In a KTIV-TV Channel 4 story that aired Sept. 22, 2015, Chief Clausen said the DCI was not involved with Hieber’s investigation, but that he was “updating them with information as it unfolds.” Clausen also said Mapleton police were currently interviewing friends, family and neighbors for more information in Hieber’s case.

The person of interest in Dailey’s homicide is also a person of interest in other Iowa unsolved murders, including the February 1997 kidnapping and slaying of 21-year-old Connie Ruddy of Ida Grove.

Connie Ruddy

Connie Ruddy

Mapleton, a small community in west-central Iowa in northeast Monona County, is located about 47 miles southeast of Sioux City and about 32 miles southwest of Ida Grove.

Hieber’s family members have stated they don’t believe the story the homeowner at 823 Main Street provided to police about Hieber falling down the steps.

“She said he fell down the steps after going to the bathroom, which I don’t believe,” Kenny Harrison, Hieber’s brother-in-law, told KTIV. “It was 15 foot from the bathroom. Dan was very coordinated. He wasn’t that type of person. And no bruises, no scratches on his body pertained to his falling down the steps.”

Hieber’s sister, Denise Fundermann, said the family wants closure and answers.

“Closure, we want him back,” Fundermann said in the story airing two days after her brother’s death. “Answers. That’s it. Answers.”

Other than the initial information released to the public about the deaths of Dailey and Hieber, very little information has appeared in the press about either case.

Hieber’s untimely death hit the family twofold; Hieber’s wife, Kim (Harrison) Hieber, 58, died Aug. 31, 2015 — just 20 days before her husband — after a brave eight-year battle with breast cancer. Dan Heiber died Sept. 20, just 20 days before what would have been the couple’s 35th wedding anniversary on Oct. 10.

Report by Jaclyn Driscoll, SiouxlandNews.com, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015


About Dan Hieber (from his obituary)

Daniel E. “Dan” Hieber, 58, of Castana, Iowa passed away Sunday, September 20, 2015, at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa.

Daniel Eugene Hieber was born March 23, 1957, at Ida Grove, Iowa, the son of Larry and Wanda (Schumacher) Hieber. They lived at Battle Creek, Iowa for a short time which allowed Dan to go to kindergarten with Kim Harrison, his future wife. When he was five they moved to the family “80” near Mapleton, Iowa. Dan went on to graduate from Maple Valley High School in Mapleton. He then attended WIT and earned his certificate in plumbing, heating, and air conditioning.

Dan and Kim met again when his family owned and operated Hieber’s Inn in Battle Creek. They were married October 10, 1981, at the Presbyterian Church in Battle Creek. They lived south of town and began farming together in 1985. Dan also worked full time at Case International in Ida Grove. He also worked for Schumacher Brothers in auto repair. He became the kind of guy who could fix anything. It was during this time that they started their own family with Drew, Dana, and Devon. Kim became the backbone of the family at home and worked, too.

The family continued to live on their farm near Battle Creek until 2002, when they moved west of Mapleton with a Castana address. Drew and Dana graduated from BCIG and Devon graduated from MVAO. Dan was a tough guy with a big heart. He wanted to do his own thing, sometimes impulsively. He wasn’t one to show a lot of emotion with words, but he showed his caring his way, seeing that his family had what they wanted. If they had something on their mind that they were determined to have, they would talk to Mom but get it from Dad.

His generosity extended beyond death in that he was serious about being an organ donor. His wishes were carried out with the donation of both his kidneys. He would have been proud of that. Every summer and winter the entire family went on vacations, often times snowmobiling with Kim’s family, going to Branson, Missouri, or Cook City, Montana. The kids always went along. There was always a message in what Dan was trying to tell the kids without really saying it. “Message sent and received.”

To Dan, deer hunting season was his Christmas. It was a well planned out family event for weeks before the second season of shotgun season came until it was over and the deer were preserved. Dan loved hunting and fishing, some of the traditions taught to him by his father. He was proud to be a farmer and proud of his equipment. He always wanted his vehicles to be clean.

Those survivors left to embrace Dan’s life and legacy are his children, Drew Daniel Hieber of Mapleton, Dana Jean (Hieber) Hanson and her husband, Jamie of Danbury, and Devon Joseph Hieber and his wife, Avery of Castana; his grandchildren, Dierks and Wyatt Hieber, Kaeson, Kael, and Daelyn Hanson, Brynlee Hieber, Madison Paulsen, and Dillon, Sophie, and Greyson; his mother, Wanda Hieber of Castana, Iowa; his four sisters and their husbands, Denise and James Funderman of Battle Creek, Iowa, Diane and Tom Cooper also of Battle Creek, Denita and Matt Lacey of Danbury, Iowa, and Deb and Shawn Thies of Phoenix, Arizona; his father-in-law, Duane Harrison of Battle Creek; his brothers-in-law, Kenneth Harrison and Todd Harrison and his wife, Karen, all of Battle Creek; and Darren Hieber; numerous extended family members; and many good friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Kim, just three weeks prior to Dan’s passing; his father, Larry Hieber; and his mother-in-law, Audrey Harrison.

Memorial services were held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, at the Armstrong Funeral Home in Mapleton with Rev. Kevin Freese officiating. The interment service of both Dan’s cremains and those of his wife, Kim Hieber, followed the memorial and was held at the Grant Cemetery in rural Rodney, Iowa.

Visitation services were held from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home, preceding the memorial service.

Condolences could be directed to the family at www.armstrongfuneral.com.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Dan Hieber’s suspicious death please contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010 or email dciinfo@dps.state.ia.us, or contact the Mapleton Police Department at 1-800-859-1414 or (712) 881-1306.


9 Responses to Dan Hieber

  1. MW says:

    I hate to say it, but is there any way this could possibly be a suicide and coincidentally be that close to Brenda Dailey’s murder? I know, it’s really crazy to be so close together in both time and location, but I just think it’s strange that it happened so close to his wife’s death and their wedding anniversary. So sorry for the family, that must have been so hard to deal with both parents dying that close to one another and not knowing for sure what happened to their father!

    • MW says:

      I’m mostly wondering why they called it a homicide. Is it because nobody thought he could’ve fallen down the stairs, or is it because there is other evidence pointing to the fact that he may have been murdered?

      • Darren Hieber says:

        Yes DCI was never called and the lady that was there owed a lot of people money. I believe she saw my dad as a way the thing in his wallet. And if I remember right his pickup was found in front of house and his Cadillac suv was found in front of Catholic Church. I believe if this happened in any other a deeper investigation would have been executed. Jared Clausen I believe doesn’t have the qualifications to Investigate a murder. When he told me ambulance left my dad would be fine he was up and talking. I find that hard to believe when Kathy called her brother because Dan fell downstairs her brother lives in ida grove 30 minutes from Mapleton. It was said she couldn’t get my dad up in chair and her brother “Had to get my Dad up in chair” now if someone fell downstairs my stairs and couldn’t get up I’d call 911 for ambulance. I’m not a so called investigator like Mr. Clausen but wouldn’t you wanna call DCI for a homicide and on further investigation wouldn’t you wanna pull bank records and credit card records? And wouldn’t her charges be accessory to murder and her brother. I believe there are
        More things they know and officer Clausen are know. These are my opinions! My gma hieber deserves a right to know who killed her son and we as children deserve the right to her had four sisters also and my uncle Kenny deserves it to. I hope someone who knows or I hope someone has yo see holes In the story’s given why fight Clausen call dci and why didn’t sister and brother get questioned deeper and why she called him if someone was hurt that bad. Question the ambulance how apparent was my dad is it like they said?!?!

      • Darren Hieber says:

        I’m sorry I typed that fast. I meant he had atm cards and credit cards I believe they were used after the murders they weren’t found in his wallet. He had his mother and us kids and 4 sisters who deserve an answer. I’m sorry I also meant I believe if this happened in any other Town DCI would’ve been called. And I believe she saw my dad as a way to pay her debts. I’m sorry for the mistyping. You can piece these things in from the first post.

    • Darren Hieber says:

      No way it was suicidal!!

  2. escapedgoat13 says:

    Not sure how they say no connection between this man and the woman who was also found at the bottom of her stairs, had no connection? It’s easy with only a cursory look on the web on a bored evening to find it. .. But not my job. I’m not going to be the next one found at the bottom of stairs in Mapleton.

  3. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    I don’t understand, this guy was married and had a place of his own. Also, his wife had died three weeks before. So, why was he at this residence? We some exlanation, why he was not living in his own home.Also, who was the owner of the residence? There was no bruising to support the story that the homeowner provided to police. So how did he die.

    His death takes place three weeks after Brenda Dailey, dies after she was beaten and thrown a set of stairs. Makes one think that these cases might be connected. But, then she moved around a lot and maybe someone from her past caught up with her. There is no mention of forced entry of her residence. Also, who called 911 in her case.

    • Daniel Scott says:

      Also it mentions that there was a suspect that was linked to Connie Marie Ruddy’s…. but I dont ever remember hearing or reading about a suspect been looking but cannot find a name

    • Darren Hieber says:

      He was at this Kathy’s house I can’t remember her last name at this point? My Dad would’ve never fell downstairs and my dad was a good person, But stuck up for all of us kids I wasn’t the best kid out of all us but my dad definitely helped me before and after a lot of things.

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