Dorothy Rose

Dorothy Rose (Courtesy Murdoch Funeral Home)

Dorothy J. Rose


Dorothy J. Rose
43 YOA
206 12th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
November 25, 2006
Case Summary by Jody Ewing

Dorothy J. Rose, 43, was found dead in her 206 12th St. SE Cedar Rapids, Iowa apartment on Tuesday night, November 28, 2006.

The building’s landlord — who’d gone to check on Rose — discovered her body and called police.


Dorothy Rose was strangled inside this 12th St. SE Cedar Rapids apartment she shared with Ronald Perkins.
(Courtesy photo KCRG-TV9)

Inside the apartment, investigators found a decomposing adult female body, an electrical cord still wrapped around her neck.

Officials identified the body as that of 43-year-old Dorothy Rose, a “Wendy’s” restaurant employee for the past eight years.

Linn County Medical Examiner Donald Linder ruled the death a homicide by strangulation.

According to police, Rose had been dead three to four days — placing her time of death as sometime between Friday, November 24, and Saturday, November 25 — though Rose’s obituary lists her date of death as November 28, the same Tuesday night the landlord found her body.

In a KCRG Channel 9 story airing November 29, 2006, neighbors said most days Rose could be found sitting on her porch. Neighbor Vicky Thompson, who believed she was one of the last people to see Rose alive, said she’d seen Rose take her bike out of her apartment and head to Handimart.

“She pretty much stayed home and minded her own business,” Thompson told KCRG. “She was a really nice lady. She really was.”

Though many didn’t even know her name, a number of Wendy’s customers saw her photo in the newspaper and recognized her as the restaurant worker who “always had a smile.” Several of those customers took time to post condolences on the Murdoch Funeral Home website where Rose’s obituary was listed.

Police removed Rose’s bicycle, along with boxes of evidence, from Rose’s apartment, and went door-to-door interviewing neighbors. Thompson was called in for a second interview to answer questions regarding one individual.

Former live-in boyfriend charged with violating no-contact order

Following Rose’s murder, police arrested her former live-in boyfriend, Ronald Alan Perkins, 46, on a warrant for violating a no-contact order in October by contacting Rose.

In September 2006, the (then) 45-year-old Perkins, who’d been residing with Rose at the 12th Street SE apartment since April 2006, was charged with assault causing injury (domestic abuse). He was accused of striking Rose in the mouth about 2 p.m. Wednesday, September 6, in the couple’s residence.

Rose sought a no-contact court order, but Perkins allegedly returned to the home in October and assaulted her again.

Linn County in Iowa
Linn County in Iowa
Cedar Rapids in Linn CountyCedar Rapids in Linn County

Following Rose’s murder and Perkins’ arrest for violating the no-contact order, Lt. Chuck Mincks confirmed officials had one person of interest in custody but were investigating several leads.

Investigators held Perkins at the Linn County Jail for questioning, but released him sometime between late Wednesday, November 28, and Thursday, November 30.

Police asked that anyone with information about Rose’s death or her activities in the days preceding her death to contact police.

“They should trust us.”

In February 2013, KCRG’s Chris Earl spoke with Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman about the difficulty in piecing together the puzzles in both current and unsolved cases.

“In every homicide I have knowledge of, they do not cut corners,” Jerman said of police departments he has worked with throughout his career.

Searching inside each case where an arrest was made, Jerman told KCRG, shows the victim and the assailant almost always had a connection.

Obtaining the needed information, however, is not without its struggles.

“I do see a…resistance… I think is the proper term from people who have information and knowledge to share it with the police,” said Jerman. “I hope they can trust us. They should trust us.”

Neither Perkins nor anyone else has ever been charged with Rose’s murder.

KCRG mentioned other “notable cold cases” in Cedar Rapids since 2000, including:

  • June 21, 2001: Tyrone Gilbert, 28, found shot to death at 412 15th St. SE on the front porch.
  • April 5, 2003: Jay Grahlman, 38, and daughter Jaymie, 6, a father and daughter who died from injuries in a fire at their 3755 H Avenue NE home. A neighbor was found “not guilty” on arson charges.
  • July 23, 2006: Anthony Posley, 22, shot to death in the 1600 block of 6th Avenue SE.
  • May 11, 2007: Dennis First, 64, found stabbed and beaten at his apartment at 2249 C Street SW.
  • June 15, 2008: Aubrey Young, 35, found between two parked cars in the 200 block of 16th Street SE.
  • June 26, 2009: Dominique Mosby, 22, shot in the head at the Cedarwood Hills apartment complex at 2030 Glass Road NE.
About Dorothy Rose

Dorothy J. Rose was born Friday, December 21, 1962, in Osceola, Iowa. She had worked at the Wendy’s Restaurant on First Avenue in Cedar Rapids for eight years.

Survivors included her sons, Ed Deason and Paul Deason, both of Cedar Rapids; her cats, Ashley, Cupcake, Snuggle, and Ivy; and other loving family members.

Memorial services were held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, December 4, 2006, at Marion Christian Church in Marion with the Rev. Robert Kunz officiating. Arrangements were by Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Center in Marion.

A memorial fund was established for her sons, with memorials to be sent to: Collins Community Credit Union, 1755 First Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403. Friends were also encouraged to sign the online guest book for Dorothy at under “obituaries.”

Information Needed

The Cedar Rapids Police Department currently has three investigators assigned to the Cold Case Unit, including Inv. Matt Denlinger, retired DCI Special Agent JD Smith and retired CRPD Police Lt. Ken Washburn.

If you have any information about Dorothy Rose’s unsolved murder please call the Cold Case Unit at (319) 286-5442 or email Inv. Matt Denlinger.

  • Cedar Rapids Police Department
  • Kimberly Frazier
  • Dorothy J. Rose
  • Dorothy Jeanean Rose (1962 – 2006) Find a Grave Memorial
  • “CRPD Chief Opens Up On Recent Open Homicide Cases,” by Chris Earl, KCRG TV-9 Cedar Rapids, February 14, 2013
  • “Crimes Weren’t Related,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, January 6, 2007
  • “Obituaries: Dorothy J. Rose,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Sunday, December 3, 2006
  • “CR Homicide Still Under Investigation,” by Becky Organn, KCRG TV-9, December 1, 2006
  • “Cedar Rapids Obituaries: Dorothy J. Rose,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, December 1, 2006
  • “Investigation continues into slaying of woman,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, December 1, 2006
  • “Woman found strangled in Cedar Rapids apartment,” The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, November 30, 2006
  • Obituaries: Dorothy Rose,”
  • “Police Say Woman’s Death a Homicide,” by Josh Hinkle, KCRG-TV Channel 9 Cedar Rapids, November 29, 2006
  • “Cedar Rapids Police Investigate Homicide,” KCRG, November 28, 2006
  • Person Details for Dorothy J Rose, “United States Public Records, 1970-2009” —
  • “United States Public Records, 1970-2009,” database,, Ronald Alan Perkins, Residence, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States; a third party aggregator of publicly available information.
  • “THE LOG — ASSAULT CHARGES — Linn County/Cedar Rapids: Ronald A. Perkins,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Friday, September 8, 2006
  • “Texas, Birth Index, 1903-1997,” index,, Ronald Alan Perkins, 23 Sep 1960; from “Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997,” index and images, Ancestry; citing Texas Department of State Health Services.


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8 Responses to Dorothy Rose

  1. Paul Deason says:

    They should have looked harder at Ed. I still think it was him

  2. cassandra l Johnson says:

    I worked with her at Wendy’s. When I seen this I had no idea she was murdered like this. Sad asf. She was nice and didn’t deserve this

  3. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    I wonder what caused the landlord to go to check on her. However, I would assume that had not reported for work. I see there was no mention of forced entry. So, either she let her assailant in or someone had a key.

    The ex-boyfriend would be an obvious person of interest, because of his background and his arrests for domestic violence. However, I wonder if someone who had developed an interest in her that she may have rejected. It mentions that the electrical cord was still wrapped around her neck. I wonder where the cord came from, and weather any forensic evidence could have been found.

  4. Wish someone would come forward. Dorothy didn’t deserve that.

  5. Praying for a break in this case and for Dorothy to rest in peace.

  6. Diana Wilson says:

    Hope they find the person that did this.

  7. Praying for justice for you Dorothy Rose.

  8. andrea says:

    Her boyfriend had a varied criminal past, not “just” of assault. From August 8, 2006: “Ronald A. Perkins, 45, of 206 12th St. SE, for third-degree burglary on Wednesday; accused of breaking and entering the residence at 516 15th St. NE and stealing property.” So we know Ronald was a diverse criminal. And has anyone looked at who the victim of his burglar was? Could it have been revenge gone awry?

    And Dorothy was not the only one to die in that property, although the prior death probably was of natural causes. From 1994: “Herbert E. Wenzel, 78, of 206 12th st. se, was found dead Thursday, Sept. 15, 1994,in his home.”

    Also, 7 years before Dorothy’s death another violent incident took place in the house: “Rodney J. Swallow, 32, of 1313 B Ave. NE charged with assault causing bodily injury, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of simple assault. He was accused of striking his former girlfriend, Jenifer Rawlins, in the face six times June 13, 1989, at 206 12th St. SE. Swallom was fined $100.” Could Rodney Swallow have still had a key to the place?

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