Donna Lee Marshall

Donna Lee Marshall

Donna Lee Marshall


Donna Lee Marshall
37 YOA
2801 Highway 6 East
Bon-Aire Mobile Home Lodge, No. 99
Iowa City, Iowa
Johnson County
DCI Case # 96-00444
Shot: Monday, January 8, 1996
Died: Tuesday, January 9, 1996

On Monday, January 8, 1996, Donna Lee Marshall, 37, was found by her fiancé and daughter in her southeast side Iowa City mobile home with a gunshot wound to the head. She died the following day.

Donna’s 7-year-old daughter Tiffanie discovered her mother lying on the living room floor of their trailer around 3 p.m. She ran outside to tell Donna’s boyfriend, Donald Matthess, who had just picked up Tiffanie from school. Donald and Tiffanie notified authorities.

Johnson County in Iowa
Johnson County in Iowa
Iowa City in Johnson CountyIowa City in Johnson County

According to documents filed with the Johnson County clerk of court, a search of the mobile home — located at Lot 99 in the Bon-Aire Mobile Home Lodge — yielded mostly prescription drugs and paperwork pertaining to child custody. Authorities searched both the mobile home and two cars that were parked there.

Investigators also took some child custody documents addressed to Marshall and letters from the state child support recovery unit addressed to Matthess.

When Marshall divorced Scott Sweeting in 1989, Marshall was awarded custody of Tiffanie. Sweeting was granted visitation rights, but divorce proceedings on file with the clerk of court showed Sweeting petitioned the court in 1992 to grant full custody to him. No final ruling had been made at the time of Marshall’s murder.

According to a list released by the state Department of Human Services on March 15, 1994, Matthess was delinquent on child support payments. The list did not specify to whom the payments were due or for how many children. (Cedar Rapids Gazette, Jan. 19, 1996)

When the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Donna Marshall’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.

About Donna Lee Marshall

Donna Lee Marshall was born August 23, 1958.

Courtesy photo
Donna Lee Marshall is buried at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Iowa City.

Memorial services were held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 13, 1996, at George L. Gay Funeral Home with the Rev. Leslie Swenson officiating. Burial was in Memory Gardens Cemetery in Iowa City.

Survivors included her daughter, Tiffanie Sweeting; and her father, Bernard “Bud” Alvin Marshall and wife Lottie of Iowa City.

Following Marshall’s murder, Tiffanie went to stay with her father, Donna’s ex-husband, Scott Sweeting.

Marshall’s parents would never see their daughter’s killer brought to justice. Bernard Marshall passed away in 2003, and Lottie died in 2010.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Donna Lee Marshall’s unsolved murder, please contact the Iowa City Police Department at (319) 356-5275 or email the Investigations Division at You may also contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010 or email



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11 Responses to Donna Marshall

  1. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    Lora you reference a Steve Klein, in regards to three cold cases in Iowa. Do you have more information in regards to his connection to these cases. Also, the ex-husband would be a person of interest in her murder, since there was a custody battle of sorts over their child. Being a mean guy, is not exactly proof that he killed her. Law Enforcement need more facts and a district attorney, would have to back them up before a judge.

  2. Herb Hunter says:

    The ex husband did it. You just need to run down his timeline — too many holes around the time of her death. . .

    • Rande Bell says:

      It was the ex husbands wife. They hated each other! She had an affair with Scott while him and Donna wee married. She had access to a gun, a key to the trailer, lived a few doors down and don’t go into work that day!! After Tiffanie had to move in with them her stepmom was very mean and abusive to her and she wasn’t allowed to see Donna’s side of the family! Donna was my cousin. These are facts!

  3. Diana Wilson says:

    I wish all these were a TV show.

  4. Lora Irving says:

    It was brought to my attention that there are 3 coldcases in Iowa that the 3 women killed all knew or knew of Steve Klein. He is awaiting trial in Johnson County for Kersten's death…Better start checking up on these……

  5. chris parmenter says:

    If given a chance i would look into these cases for free!

  6. I pray for her family

  7. Lori says:

    Cold Case Unit shut down due to lack of funds. This has got to be frustrating to the families. God, help us find justice for Donna.

  8. Jayne Lockridge says:

    I worked with Scott Sweeting at the U. of I. Hospitals & Clinics. I overheard him laughing and talking abought a big gun he had in the trailer he lived in. The next thing I know that his wife had been shot and killed. He was messing around with a lady at work. I thought that would be a good reason to kill her. I did not tell any one because Scott had a bad temper.

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