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On Monday, March 6, 1967, Burlington Railroad employees found the frozen body of 24-year-old Gloria Fay Slump under a trestle over Pony Creek three miles south of Council Bluffs, Iowa.
A trail of blood showed she was dragged to the site from a county road 150 yards away.
Officials estimated Slump died three days earlier on March 3. Slump had told friends she was going to spend the weekend with her parents, who lived in Stanton, Iowa.
The Omaha, Neb., brokerage house worker had been beaten, stabbed 14 times in the throat with a dull knife or an instrument similar to a beer can opener, and left under the trestle to bleed to death. There were no signs of sexual assault.
Coworkers described Slump as “deeply religious.”
Pottawattamie County Sheriff Roy O. Wichael headed up the investigation, although evidence was also examined by both the Iowa Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
One day before Gloria’s body was found, an Iowa State Highway patrolman discovered an abandoned car 150 yards east of the Pony Creek railroad bridge. Officials told the media it belonged to 24-year-old Jerry E. Neve of Omaha, who had been seen with the victim before she disappeared.
Wichael questioned Neve, who voluntarily submitted to a polygraph conducted by the Iowa BCI. Neve was released from the sheriff’s custody, though results of Neve’s polygraph showed deception when asked whether he knew Slump or had any information about her death.
Neve used a shotgun to commit suicide on Saturday, March 11, 1967, in the back yard of an Omaha residence.
According to an article published in the Oelwein Register on March 13, 1967, Neve’s stepfather, Cecil Fellows, said his stepson told him he didn’t murder Gloria, but was just being a good fellow and that he was so involved he didn’t know what to do.
The FBI conducted tests on a piece of clothing discovered in Neve’s car, and later confirmed the clothing had belonged to Slump.
On Saturday, June 10, 1967, Omaha Police — acting on a tip — found the victim’s coat in a hotel room once registered to Jerry Neve and Herschell L. Gitchell. At the time, Gitchell was awaiting trial on burglary charges.
When the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Gloria Slump’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 forensic 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.
Gloria Fay Slump was born April 7, 1942, in Red Oak, Iowa in Montgomery County to Kathleen Ione Williams and Carroll Riggs Slump. She was survived by her parents, a brother, and four sisters.
If you have any information regarding Gloria Slump’s unsolved murder please contact Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Darrell Simmons at (712) 322-1585 or the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at (712) 890-2200. If you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Pottawattamie County Crime Stoppers at 712-328-STOP (7867).