Gregory John Howell

Missing Person, Homicide Strongly Suspected

greg-howell-with-son-whotv-2010Courtesy photo WHO-TV Channel 13, Des Moines
Gregory Howell with his son. Howell went missing from Fort Dodge in January 2005, and homicide is suspected in his unsolved disappearance.


NAME: Gregory John Howell
October 4, 1960
170 lbs.
Endangered / physical
Webster County
INVESTIGATING AGENCY: Fort Dodge Police Department
January 1, 2005


Case summary by Aaron Brilbeck | Iowa Cold Case Series

WHO-TV, Channel 13, Des Moines

September 2, 2010

Greg Howell of Fort Dodge had his demons. Crack. Cocaine. Heroin. Police say he’d oftentimes rob drug dealers to pay for his drugs.

frank-howell-whotv-sept-2010Courtesy photo WHO-TV Channel 13
In a September 2010 interview with WHO-TV, Frank Howell said he warned his brother he needed to slow down.

But his family says he never deserved what he got.

“We used to snowmobile race. We used to go to Minnesota every Sunday. Race drag sleds. I mean we just had a blast,” says Greg’s brother Frank.

Frank Howell remembers the good times. But he knows his brother had a dark side, the drugs that played Jekyll and Hyde with his personality, and probably led to his death.

“I told him, I said you need to slow down,” Frank says. “You got a family. You got a good family. You need to grow up. He wanted to be a kid. He lived a fast life.”

It was right around Christmas time in 2005 and Greg Howell had just come back from a big score, driving cross-country to buy methamphetamine in California to sell here.

“As far as I know they did,” Frank says, “and from what I’ve heard on the streets it was high quality stuff. People were paying double what they pay around here. Everyone wanted it.”

greg-howell-kids-with-dog-whotv-2010-storyCourtesy photo WHO-TV Channel 13, Des Moines
Greg Howell’s children enjoy a moment with their dog.

But Howell’s family believes he got greedy and stole from the wrong person.

“I think he was set up,” Howell’s ex-wife Julie Howell says. “The last time I saw him he said he was going to come into a lot of money that night. I think his friends set him up.”

Frank agrees. “I think he dabbled too much into it and I think he might have stole from the guy that put the money up and his buddies, his friends, set him up and offed him. It’s wrong,” he says.

Howell has been described as a 5-foot-7 white male with brown hair, brown eyes and weighing about 170 pounds. He has scars near both eyes and a scar on his right cheek. He also has an Unk tattoo on his buttocks.

Police admit they have nothing. No clues. No witnesses. Nothing.

“Mr. Howell was with some friends. He had gotten a call and was going to meet another person,” says Lt. Kevin Kruse with the Webster County Sheriff’s Department. “The friends do not know who that person was that he went to meet. That was the last time any of his friends had seen him.”

julie-howell-whotv-2010Courtesy photo WHO-TV, September 2010
Greg Howell’s ex-wife, Julie, said she believes Greg was set up.

Howell’s family says Fort Dodge Police ignored their pleas for help and the department just wrote off the disappearance as another missing druggie.

“Do your job. Do a better job. Do something,” Frank says. “We couldn’t even get them over to take a missing person report. I mean, c’mon…this is a person. Don’t matter what he did in his time. He was a person. He was a brother. He was a dad. He was a son. I mean, they could at least try.”

Without help from the police, the family tracked down drug dealers and Greg’s friends. They eventually found his car but police weren’t able to pull any clues from it. They also tracked down leads.

“Just all the information we got, whether it be hearsay or just people on the streets we had to go talk to. Walking through quarries for hours at a time. People saying he’s buried over there. I mean, it’s pretty hard thinking you’re looking for your brother’s body,” Frank says.

greg-howell-with-deer-whotv-2010Courtesy photo WHO-TV Channel 13, Des Moines
Greg Howell’s family said hunting was one of his many passions.

The family has given up on finding justice. They believe Greg was killed but they doubt the killer will ever be found. Right now, they just want to find the body. They say Greg paid for all the wrong he did in his life and deserves to rest in peace.

“You know, it’s not right, ’cause he’s a human being,” Frank says. “Don’t matter what he did.”

WHO-TV’s Aaron Brilbeck did contact the Fort Dodge Police Department — the agency that originally handled the investigation.

Assistant Chief Kevin Doty told Channel 13, “Probably we should have tried to dig more,” and that as a result of WHO-TV’s story they plan to re-open the investigation into Howell’s disappearance.

Channel 13’s Aaron Brilbeck reports on the unsolved disappearance of Greg Howell of Fort Dodge, IA.
Airdate: September 2, 2010

Information Needed

If you have any information regarding Gregory Howell’s disappearance or suspected homicide, please contact the Fort Dodge Police Department at 515-573-1426.



20 Responses to Gregory Howell

  1. Sherry says:

    Please check unidentified male UP8588 on Namus. Found in Illinois. Photos look very similar except UP had a mustache.

  2. Gwen Harrison Boggess says:

    I was friends with Greg since grade school and always liked him. I pray for him and his family that he is found so his family will get some relief. Jehovah, please help his family, I know he will be resurrected (John 5: 28, 29). God will bring him back and he will have another chance to live a good life. Then Jehovah will judge all of us.

  3. Rodney Clint Clark says:

    I have a strong feeling that everyone is too focused on his drug addiction as motive to his disappearing! Think out side the box, ppl don’t always kill ppl that owe them $ the logic is “how can adead or missing person pay back debts . It makes me suspicious of local police department having cover up an accidental death. I pry this family will be able to get the answers for there questions. I cant begin to imaoima the pain of not knowing. God bless this man and his family. Please listen to me as I can get strong feelings of the answers lies in the lack of not wainting to investigate leads. Police department, state trooper, possible even Drug enforcement officers.please look into this your time won’t be wasted… Rodney Clint clark

  4. Blip says:

    The police should probably look into Ronald Dilley and his father Cliff (who died shortly after Greg’s disappearance). Anonymous reports have been made regarding these two including reports that RJ told people about this crime. Considering Cliff served time for attempted murder and RJ is currently serving time for murder, the police maybe should’ve took those tips seriously.

  5. C says:

    Wow, a druggie who sold drugs and ruined other people’s lives. Ft. Dodge police and investigators have other cold cases to solve on human beings who were an asset to society. Greg got caught up with drugs and it cost him his life. That is certainly sad but he was a druggie. He’s bottom priority for Ft. Dodge police.

    • Aaron F says:

      That was a cold ass and unnecessary comment,I personally doubt that any of the people commenting on here could care less about your useless,self righteous,opinionated opinion,obviously he was very much loved by these people and that speaks volumes about the kind of person he was

    • Amy Jacobsma says:

      What an ignorant comment!! He had a family! Addiction is a disease that can effect anyone. I pray the family has answers!

  6. Anthony Howell says:

    I miss you uncle Greg!

  7. Please if you know anything at all contact authority's. R.I.p. Greg.

    • Mario Calderon says:

      sorry I don’t Sharon Roberts my believe to the little I know and was reading up apond Greg I think in this case killer had the upper hand he knew how to get rid of Greg and yes sad to say people with evil minds like that kill other people Greg probably did nothing to this sick crazy man that killed him is what in my opinion think I that had happen to him see I don’t know anything about Greg but I like to bring up a dream in my dream which is wired it was cold dark place a guy similar looking to Greg white over the head with the shovel but then I ended up waking up I didn’t dream it all if maybe Greg might of wanted justice through a dream but that dream felt real that I cold breath in the air like I was in that big !feeling it bit that was just a dream I don’t know for sure if I dreamed up something that really could half possibly happen to Greg I don’t know him I just looked up people been killed in fd that was it but his story made me feel bad for him and his family hopefully they find justice for him rip Greg

      • Linsey Howell says:

        hi I’m Greg’s niece. would you be willing to contact me and tell me more about your dream you had of my uncle? my family and I would appreciate it more than I could express. the smallest of details could help. PLEASE PLEASE contact me back if possible

        • Mc says:

          Linsey Howell I just had the dream that if it was your uncle um I am so sorry I um ok I remember the dream as this Gregory was fallowing a guy I couldn’t see the guy in my dream but a guy behind him calling him to somewhere herd the sound of a shovel hit him 3 times and Gregory yelling for help saying oh god help me please then um I herd something sound off in the dream I couldn’t see much the dream every thing was dark and the guy kept beating him from what I like to say here this man who ever he may be was vary evil

          • Linsey Howell says:

            Thank you SO MUCH for contacting me back. Can you please email me@my personal email address? It is PLEASE I AM BEGGING YOU TO PLEASE CONTACT ME LIKE I said before, the littlest information can do so much for my family to finally find my uncle and put him to rest LIKE he deserves

            • Unknown says:

              Have you checked out Robert blair and they yellow house on corner by dominos pizza. Robert Blair Sam wbner sam killed himself shortly after women said Greg called her after the 1st of january that was a lie

  8. sara vinsand says:

    Sorry for your loss and sorry to here once again fort dodge finest didnt do there job once again I wish you the best in finding the body of your loved one my thoughts and prayers are with you all ways sara vinsand

  9. mario says:

    i don’t know anything about this case or about the guy Greg all i know i am originally from California and from my experience to see drug dealers cases on the news at least this man had to have a cell phone and were they found his car should have maybe looked in that area to see at least if the body was found ? And kinda wired for Maybe a really evil smart drug dealer not to get caught if murdered him i say go back look and see if he had a cell phone record of numbers or text and maybe find out who did maybe killed him ?? If he had contract like us cellular or Verizon bingo number found you found the killer probably? ?

  10. You are missed Uncle Greg.

  11. diane johnson says:

    Greg was a friend of mine….no matter what lice he choose to live he was my friend and he got me my shar-pei pupppy crom his neighbor that was 14 years ago and my dog champ is still with us today. Greg thank you for being a friend…. to his family prayers they find him….so he can rest in peace…..

  12. rebecca swanson says:

    My hope is that they find him. He was a good man, he just had a problem, like we all did. Believe it or not he contributed to my own sobriety. Eight years now. I wish I knew something to help. My prayers are that they will find him.

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