Dawn Marlene Allen

Missing Person

Dawn Allen

Dawn Allen (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

NAME: Dawn Marlene Allen
February 8, 1961
140 lbs.
Brown, but was dyed blonde
Endangered / physical
Carroll County
May 4, 2011


Case Summary compiled by Jody Ewing

Dawn Marlene Allen, 50, was reported missing to the Carroll Police Department in Carroll, Iowa, on May 4, 2011, after she failed to show up for work as a manager for a local Subway.

Carroll County in Iowa
Carroll County in Iowa
Carroll in Carroll CountyCarroll in Carroll County

Allen’s boss said she had worked at the Carroll Subway for 21 years and had never been late or missed work.

Allen — who has brown hair but had it dyed blonde and wore it spiked — was last seen at her home on Wednesday, May 4, about 8:30 p.m. wearing bright blue knit pants and a multi-colored shirt. She was described as about 5 feet 2 inches tall, weight approximately 140 pounds.

Allen’s white 2001 Chevrolet Blazer was recovered in the parking lot of the Piranha Club — a nightclub in Carroll — the morning after she disappeared. Neither the vehicle nor her home revealed any sign of a struggle.

Officers obtained the Carroll woman’s cell phone records, which showed her phone had been used about 3:30 a.m. Thursday but then turned off a few hours later.

Person of Interest Takes Own Life

Police eventually focused on James Snovelle, a man Allen had been dating and who police thought might have information about her whereabouts. But then on May 9 as police closed in on Snovelle in rural Coffey County, Kansas, he died by suicide after shooting himself.

James SnovelleJames Snovelle

“There’s a very strong suspicion that he is involved or was involved,” said Carroll Police Chief Jeff Cayler. “We don’t have anything that would indicate there is any other explanation at this point.”

Police did not, Cayler said, believe Snovelle took Allen with him to Kansas. Instead, they felt Allen had been left somewhere in one of the seven counties because that was the route he’d taken when he drove from Carroll to his home in Rolfe on May 5.

Dawn Allen

Dawn Allen (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Police said the 54-year-old Snovelle, who was married, had no records of violence in his past.

Allen’s son, Gregg Taylor, told KCCI on May 12 that the not knowing and wondering what happened to his mother kept him awake at night thinking about it. Another concern he had was how to respond to his children — including his four-year-old — who kept asking, “Where’s Grandma?”

A Seven-County Search Strategy

Officials met on Friday, May 20, to discuss search strategies with a focus on the seven county region in western Iowa. In addition to law enforcement, those present included individuals from the respective fire departments, county conservation, the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Big Bend CreekCourtesy photo Jeff Storjohann/Daily Times Herald
Snovelle shot and killed himself in South Big Creek on May 9 as officers closed in.

Authorities in Carroll, Sac, Greene, Guthrie, Calhoun, Pocahontas and Palo Alto counties asked residents to look in wooded areas, waterways, ditches, buildings, and any other areas where someone may have hidden or disposed of evidence.

Dawn Allen's purse

Dawn carried an orange purse similar to this one.

On May 25, Dawn Allen’s friends announced a prayer vigil was being planned for that weekend. The candle light vigil for Allen was set up at Graham Park at 8 p.m., where those attending prayed for Allen’s family and also prayed that searchers would bring home their friend.

Two months after Dawn Allen disappeared, police told KCCI in Des Moines there were no new clues in the case. Carroll Police Chief Jeff Cayler said they’d worked with the other law enforcement agencies throughout the seven counties and had conducted extensive searches for the Carroll woman.

Unfortunately, Cayler told KCCI, the searches hadn’t yielded any clues and investigators had exhausted all search options. The only thing left, he said, was to wait for someone to come forward with information or some kind of evidence that would lead to a break in the case. Otherwise, he said there was nothing more police could do.

Dawn Allen's ring

Dawn wore a ring similar to this one.

Allen has three tattoos: one of her right ankle in the shape of a bracelet/charm; one on the back right shoulderblade of a Tinkerbell; and one on the front waistline. Her ears are double pierced in both ears.

She wore a silver watch with a black clockface and diamond at the 12 spot and a silver/white gold ring with a solitare diamond about 3 karats in size. She carried with her a large bright orange purse, and also was taking blood pressure medication.

Information Needed

If you have any information related to the whereabouts of Dawn Allen, please call the Carroll Police Department at 712-792-3536 or contact Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Laura Myers at 712-252-0507.

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9 Responses to Dawn Allen

  1. JimS says:

    His family lived in KS where he returned to. His younger brother died just a few years back, I knew him fairly well, they were generally good people. His dad just died three days ago. I have pictures of the incident as it took place here in Coffey County leading to his suicide. They have searched around here but I doubt he carried her here. If he did they were countless places to put her that would not have been on the property.

  2. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    I wonder how she got connected with a guy from Kansas. I don’t know how far away his home is from her residence. Also, it mentioned that he was married. So was she aware that he was married. Maybe she found out ad decided to end the relationship. Also, did he have a family, that could provide some answers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously I am just a reader so take this with a grain of salt. It mentions he drove but doesn’t say anything about what, if anything, was found in the vehicle. Was it not searched for evidence or was it and that information is just not shared here? Unfortunately, I believe she’ll be found in one of the bodies of water along the route indicated as it’s a fast place to get rid of any evidence. His commission of suicide leads me to believe he didn’t do a very good job concealing his crime and the evidence is out there to be found and he was under the assumption it had been and killed him self. Having other people involved may have given him a bargaining chip if he shared information so it seems likely he acted alone. I do not know this woman but PLEASE, if you live in the surrounding area, search for her. One year later or 20, any small bit of information or evidence may help solve this. “Missing” with no other information is an unacceptable answer and she needs to be brought home and we cannot count on a dead man or any possible other perpetrators to solve this.

    • Bob says:

      The guys is from rolfe iowa. Not kansas.

      • Patrick Kerrigan says:

        Bob, there is a Coffey County in Kansas, according to my AAA Road Atlas. I did see the town you referred to in Iowa.

        Still, I wonder how she met him, and develop a long distance relationship. t would be nice to know more about him.
        Such as what he did for a living.

        Also, her car was found at a local nightclub. I wonder if thus was some place she normally hung out.

      • Patrick Kerrigan says:

        Bob, his obituary mentions that he was involved in selling insurance. He moved several times, yet was a great family man, and played Santa.

        One newspaper has the police saying he was unemployed. But, one of his other girlfriends, has him driving bull semen around Iowa.

        Also, he met Dawn on an online dating service. She was going through a divorce and one of her sons committed suicide, and was lonely.

        His obituary mentions him taking his son hunting and camping. I hope authorities were able to search those spots.

        But, her vehicle being found at that nightclub, the next morning. But, it was not there when it closed at 10:30 p.m.

        Very interesting.

      • Monica Speaks says:

        He was living in Rolfe, IA with his wife but he was raised in Kansas.

    • Monica Speaks says:

      I am Dawn’s niece. They met online. He lived a double life. He was married yet told the family he was divorced. He lived in Rolfe, IA with his wife. He lied about his employment, his marital status, everything.

  3. We'll never stop looking for you Aunt Dawn!!! Love you

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