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Henry J. Hults was found dead in the back yard of his Jones County, Iowa home about 6:30 a.m. on Friday, March 22, 1963. The 62-year-old, who lived alone in rural Oxford Junction, was badly burned and there were several burned patches in his yard, possibly where Hults had dropped to the ground and tried to extinguish the flames.
Jones County deputy medical examiner Dr. C.R. Smith said in a pathologist’s report that death was due to burning, and officials ruled the case a homicide.
Hults’ death was investigated by Jones County Sheriff Lewis Dreibelbis, deputy sheriff Ralph Albaugh, and Iowa Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent Bob Gregson of Des Moines.
When the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Hults’ 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 the resolution of 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.
Henry Hults’ case remains unsolved.
Henry J. Hults was born September 18, 1900, in Anamosa, the son of Fred and Taalkie (Dirks) Hults.
He farmed in the Anamosa area until moving to Oxford Junction four years prior to his death. He and his wife operated a nursing home, but later divorced.
Survivors included a son, William of Anamosa; two daughters, Mrs. Robert (June) Peterson of Des Moines and Mrs. Robert (Betty) Hora of Anamosa; seven grandchildren; three sisters, Mrs. Tena Wroblewski and Miss Minnie Hults of Anamosa, and Mrs. Augusta Bieber, Wyoming.
Memorial services were held Sunday afternoon, March 24, 1963, at Goettsch Funeral home in Anamosa with the Rev. LaVerne Beener officiating. Burial was in Riverside Cemetery in Anamosa.
Anyone with information about Henry Hults’ unsolved murder is asked to contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact the Jones County Sheriff’s Office at (319) 462-4371.