Josh Yoder (Courtesy Clinton Police Department)

Josh Yoder (Courtesy Clinton Police Department)

Joshua Martin Yoder

Hit-and-Run Homicide

Joshua Martin Yoder
500 block of South 9th St.
Clinton, IA
Clinton County
May 3, 2005


Case Summary compiled by Jody Ewing

On May 3, 2005, 4-year-old Josh Yoder was struck by a hit-and-run driver in the 500 block of South 9th Street in Clinton, Iowa. He died the following day at University Hospitals in Iowa City.

The Clinton Police Department described the car involved in the incident as a medium blue 1990s Chevrolet Corsica. It likely would have sustained front end damage, said officials, who asked for the public’s help in identifying the offending driver and vehicle.

Four-year-old Yoder was the youngest of 13 siblings. Shortly after the hit-and-run, the family moved to Ames, Iowa.

Clinton County in Iowa
Clinton County in Iowa
Clinton in Clinton CountyClinton in Clinton County
Eight Years Later

On the 8th anniversary of Josh’s death, his family spoke with WHBF-TV as they looked back on the tragic afternoon when Josh was run down in broad daylight.

“He was this skinny little kid who loved to run,” Josh’s older sister Lydia told WHBF.

Lydia Yoder said her brother spent many sunny afternoons running around in the back yard of their Clinton home, but no one ever imagined May 3rd, 2005, would become such a nightmare.

Josh’s mother, Debbie Yoder, told WHBF her son had gone outside to play with his two brothers that day. While doing a load of laundry, she’d heard screams and looked out the window. She saw Josh, lying unconscious, on the road.

“In our family, we’ve been able to go on with life, and know that Josh is in a good place with the lord,” Debbie Yoder told WHBF reporter Christine Souders. “Not knowing who hit him, we’d like to have some closure, and to the person who did it, to also have some closure in life. I’m sure it’s a burdensome thing to carry.”

Lydia Yoder said her younger brother added a lot of humor to the family, and that though he’s no longer physically present, he still remained a huge part of the family.

“I often wonder what he would be like now here, and what he’d be like as a 12-year-old,” Lydia said.

Several private citizens of Clinton established a reward fund for information in the case, and Clinton County Crime Stopper will pay up to $1,000 for information of value to the ongoing investigation.

Josh Yoder (courtesy Kalona News)

Josh Yoder (courtesy Kalona News)

About Josh Yoder

Joshua Martin Yoder was born January 26, 2001, the son of Benjamin A. and Deborah K. (Harmonson) Yoder. He died May 4, 2005, in University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City from injuries suffered in a hit-and-run automobile accident May 3.

Services were held Monday, May 9, in the Evangelical Free Church, Clinton, with the Reverend Patrick Nemmers officiating. Burial was in the West Union Cemetery, Wellman. Members of the United States Marine Corps served as pallbearers.

Josh was a member of “Cubbies” at the Evangelical Free Church, enjoyed backyard wiffle ball and was an avid superhero fan.

Survivors included his parents; his brothers and sisters, Sarah K. and husband Jeffrey Owens of Lang Fang, China, Anna Ruth, Esther Joy, Samuel John, Lydia Dawn, Joseph David, Mary Elizabeth, Martha Rose, Rachel Marie, Tabitha Grace, Abraham Benjamin and Isaiah James of Clinton; his grandparents, Ross and Shelba Harmonson of Spencer, Carolyn Yoder of Wellman and Elwood and Norma Yoder of Kalona; two nieces and two nephews, Wendy, Peter, John and Ellen Owens of Lang Fang, China; numerous aunts and uncles, including Martin Yoder and Clara and Barry Frantz, all of Wellman; and many cousins.

Memorials were to be directed to a fund in Josh’s name at Gateway State Bank.

Lemke Funeral Home North Chapel was in charge of arrangements.

Information Needed

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Clinton Police Department at (563) 243-1458 or Clinton County Crime Stoppers at (563) 242-6595 or toll free at 1-888-883-8015.



7 Responses to Josh Yoder

  1. Merlyn Law says:

    My husband did the memorial video for Josh’s Funeral….a little boy who loved his super cape. I cried for this little one as that video was being done. How shameful that someone would leave the scene of the accident. It is hard to believe that no one seen anything. The Lord’s knows all and we know this is a little boy that Jesus welcomed too soon. I bet that super cape still flies.

  2. Mary Thacker says:

    This was a very tragic accident. There was a high school track meet going on at the time of the accident. Which was only a couple blocks away. It could’ve been a scared teen. I’m sure carrying the burden of this accident has got to be weighing on someone’s heart. Wish they would come forward so the Yoders can find some closure. This is one of the most loving and forgiving families.

  3. Lisa says:

    My family and i lived in that area at the time. We lived on 2nd Ave N. My son was 6 at the time. He, too, was hit by a truck that was leaving DJs bar on the corner. The guy didn’t stop… My sons back was hurt , thank God not badly! But his bike was ruined and he had just gotten it.. He was scared to tell me at the time cause he thought he did something wrong. His brother told us..
    I often think of Josh ! And pray that someone would come forward! Someone must know something! For real! How in Gods name can someone live with this! Knowing they did this!

  4. Mike says:

    Accidents happen,but leaving the scene of a personal injury accident is a crime!There is no excuse for leaving the scene.Sure,the person driving the car was probably scared out of their mind,who wouldn’t be,but the adult thing to do is to stop and render aid,not to just drive away.The driver of this car is a coward that must live with his/her self for what they did.

  5. Theresa says:

    This appears to be a no brainer with registered vehicles and tracking down repair or checking the vehicles in person. Such an adorable child. The description does not explain the difficulty in hunting the vehicle down making the police department look bad.

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