Polk County in Iowa
Polk County in Iowa
Altoona in Polk CountyAltoona in Polk County

Gregory Neal Dickey


Gregory Neal Dickey
23 YOA
Interstate 80 eastbound on-ramp
Altoona, IA
Polk County
Case # 75-00248
February 18, 1975

Case summary by Jody Ewing

On February 18, 1975, Iowa State Trooper Charles Black discovered a 1966 green Ford van on Interstate 80 at the eastbound “on” ramp at Altoona. The van bore a 1973 Washington license plate number L84590 and, apparently abandoned, was impounded.

On April 7, 1975, the father of 23-year-old Gregory Dickey contacted authorities and stated the van belonged to his son. The younger Dickey had left Davenport, Iowa, on February 11 — just one week before Black found the vehicle.

When officials broke into the van in search of clues as to where Gregory Dickey may have been headed, they discovered his body in the van’s back seat under a blanket, a cord wrapped around the young man’s neck.

A coroner ruled Dickey’s death as “murder by strangulation.”

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

gregory-dickey-gravestone-findagraveCourtesy photo David Schram, findagrave.com
Gregory Dickey is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Enid, Okla.
About Gregory Dickey

Gregory Neal Dickey was born May 15, 1951.

He was buried at Memorial Park Cemetery in Enid, Oklahoma, in Garfield County.

Information Needed

Anyone with information regarding Gregory Dickey’s unsolved murder is asked to contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010, or email dciinfo@dps.state.ia.us.



Copyright © 2024  Iowa Cold Cases, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


11 Responses to Gregory Dickey

  1. LakeLife says:

    Praying for justice for this man!

  2. Mike Dickey says:

    My brother, Greg, would be 66 today. He was a kind soul, probably too kind. He sometimes hitchhiked when he did not have a car. When he got a car he paid forward by picking up hitchhikers. I think he picked up the wrong hitchhiker. I love you, your brother Mike.

    • Amy Hart (Dickey) says:

      My mother, Barbara Dickey, Greg’s youngest sister, spoke of him often when I was growing up. So sad what happened to him. I am truly heartbroken that I never got to meet him. He sounded like the nicest guy. You are truly missed!


      Amy Hart (Dickey), Barb’s oldest daugther

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Mike, I am so sorry for your family’s loss. Your brother indeed sounded like a very kind soul, and it’s unfortunate that many people prey on that sort of kindness. During the 1970s, my siblings and I traveled to trapshoots all across Iowa and other states with my father, and he would often pick up hitchhikers along the way. Never once do I recall “safety” being mentioned before Dad stopped to pick them up; it just seemed like the right thing to do to help out someone who needed to go somewhere but didn’t have the means to get there.

      We never felt endangered and the hitchhikers were always so gracious when Dad dropped them off — sometimes 100 miles down the interstate near the exit to a town — and we always felt our lives had somehow been enriched by hearing the “exciting” stories behind why these men were hitchhiking in the first place. (My dad loved hearing their stories and telling his own, too.) I miss the innocence we all had back then.

      Do you have a photo of Greg you could share with us for use on the ICC website? (Any “family” photos are also welcome, and proper attribution will be provided for any submitted photos.) Pictures not only help our readers put a face to a name, but remind them that all our victims had lives that mattered. A photo might also spark a long forgotten memory of seeing the person at a particular location with someone, or even remind someone of “something unusual” he or she saw around that same time period. Again, I am so sorry for your loss.

      Please feel free to email me directly at: jody@iowacoldcases.org

  3. Pam Dallmann says:

    Did you know Greg? He is still missed and loved.

  4. How could anyone miss a body in a van? Anyway, I hope we can find some answers.

  5. Diana Wilson says:

    Seems like anytime a car/van is impounded,it would be checked. But, I know, laws and people sue!!!!!

    • dieselbator says:

      There was another case in Iowa where the police departement actually auctioned off an impounded pickup truck that still had the owner’s dead body in the bed under some tree branches. The new owner wondered why it smelled so bad, looked under the stuff in the back that the police hadn’t bothered to check out, and found the poor guy’s body.

  6. Tim Bench says:

    Astonishing story.

Comment Policy

We encourage thoughtful discussion here but ask that comments remain civilized and constructive … i.e. without personal attacks or name-calling. Be respectful of others and remember that victims' family members visit these pages, too. If you'd like to provide us with information regarding a suspect or have other sensitive details to relay, please email us directly. Thank you in advance.

Share Your Thoughts