James Poggemiller

James Keith Poggemiller

Suspicious | Undetermined

62 YOA
1127 S. 13th St.
Burlington, Iowa
Des Moines County
May 24, 2019

 
James Keith Poggemiller, 62, was found dead Friday, May 24, 2019, inside his 1127 S. 13th Street home in Burlington, and officials are treating his death as suspicious.

Des Moines County in Iowa
Des Moines County in Iowa
 
Burlington in Des Moines CountyBurlington in Des Moines County

The facts and circumstances surrounding the death are being investigated by the Burlington Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), and the Iowa DCI’s Criminalistics Laboratory team, Burlington Chief of Police Dennis Kramer said in a press release.

A neighbor reported the incident after they went to check on Poggemiller and discovered the back door open.

The Burlington Police Department (BPD) responded to the South 13th Street address regarding a suspicious death at approximately 2:41 p.m. Upon arrival, officers located a deceased subject within the resident, Burlington police said.

The Hawk Eye detailed the continuing investigation in a story published May 29, 2019, as follows:


The Hawk Eye

Death investigation continues

By Michaele Niehaus
Posted May 29, 2019 at 1:01 AM

State and local investigators are continuing their joint investigation into the death of James Keith Poggemiller, whose body was discovered Friday inside his home at 1127 S. 13th St. in Burlington.

Lt. Adam Schaefer, lead investigator with the Burlington Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division, said Tuesday the department has received preliminary results from the autopsy conducted on Poggemiller’s body by the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Decedent Care Center, but those results will not yet be released to avoid jeopardizing the investigation into his death.

“At this point, we’re not disclosing the cause of death or any other information,” Schaefer said. “We believe additional information at this point would jeopardize the investigation.”

It could take up to a month for the full autopsy results, including those of tissue samples and toxicology, to be complete.

Burlington police were called to the 62-year-old Poggemiller’s home Friday afternoon after a neighbor had reported going to check on him after not having heard from him for an unusual amount of time. His body was discovered inside the home.

Crime scene tape went up around the home a short time later. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations Criminalistics Laboratory team was dispatched to the scene to process the home and gather evidence. Schaefer said several items of evidence related to the investigation were gathered for forensic testing.

Schaefer said the death is considered suspicious, but stopped short of calling it anything more until investigators are able to get a more complete picture of what occurred through facts and evidence gathered throughout the course of the investigation.

“Up to this point, we believe it to be suspicious in nature,” Schaefer said. “But at the same time, we don’t want to get tunnel vision and zone in on one particular set of circumstances, so we’re relying on the facts to help guide us through the investigation.”

Schaefer declined to provide details about what makes Poggemiller’s death suspicious to avoid jeopardizing possible criminal prosecution in the future.

Special agents with DCI are working alongside Burlington Police detectives to conduct interviews and run down leads as they come in. Schaefer said numerous interviews were conducted over the weekend and several more were to be conducted Tuesday.

“Information is coming in. It’s the time-consuming task of running people down and following leads,” Schaefer said.

Schaefer asks that anyone who had contact with Poggemiller within the past week or so, as well as anyone with information about his death, call the Burlington Police Department at (319) 753-8375 or CrimeStoppers at (319) 753-8375.

~ Copyright The Hawk Eye ~ May 29, 2019

Nearly two months later, a press release issued by the Burlington Police Department announced no cause could be determined in Poggemiller’s suspicious death.

We still believe this to be a suspicious death,” Schaefer told The Hawk Eye in a telephone interview Friday afternoon, July 19, 2019.

While a definitive cause of death could not be determined, Schaefer said he remains hopeful that between forensic evidence still being tested, as well as witnesses still unknown, could help to provide some answers.

There is more to Poggemiller’s death than is readily apparent, he said. Suspicious does not necessarily mean criminal, and Schaefer said investigators believe there is a person or people “who could help us solve this.”

Anyone with any information is encouraged to call the police department at (319) 753-8375 or Crime Stoppers at (319) 753-6835.

About James Poggemiller

James Keith Poggemiller was born January 1, 1957, the son of Kenneth and Edna (Starman) Poggemiller.

James enjoyed the outdoors. He liked to hunt, fish, and go mushrooming. If he wasn’t finding the mushrooms close by, a road trip was never out of the question.

Cars were his passion. He was a good mechanic and racing lit a fire in him. He brought home many trophies, racing in the Tri-State area during the 1980s. An aggressive driver, he could bring the crowd to their feet.

Two tragic events in his life — the deaths of his only son, Jeremy, and his brother, Rodney — would scar his heart forever.

James had a contagious laugh that was as unique as he was. He touched a lot of people’s lives and will be missed by many.

He was found deceased in his home on May 24, 2019.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Rodney, his son, Jeremy, father, Kenneth, mother, Edna, and brother, Steve.

James was laid to rest at Aspen Grove Cemetery with his family.

Information Needed

Anyone with information regarding this death investigation is encouraged to call the Burlington Police Department at (319) 753-8375 or Crime Stoppers at (319) 753-6835, or submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers here.

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