Karla Jean Hartkemeyer (findagrave.com)

Karla Jean Hartkemeyer


Karla Jean Hartkemeyer
35 YOA
DCI Case # 96-03059
Resided in Des Moines, IA
Went Missing: October 27, 1995
Body found in rural Warren County on
March 12, 1996
Date of Death: October 27, 1995


Warren County

Warren County in Iowa

Karla Jean Hartkemeyer, 35, of Des Moines, Iowa, was last seen on Friday, October 27, 1995. On November 15, 1995, her brother, Karl Hartkemeyer, reported her missing.

On Tuesday, March 12, 1996, two Des Moines hunters looking for deer antlers stumbled across the young woman’s skeletal remains in a wooded area in northern Warren County near the North River.

Courtesy Spencer Daily Reporter, March 14, 1996

Courtesy Spencer Daily Reporter, March 14, 1996

According to Warren County Sheriff Jim Lee, Hartkemeyer’s purse — still containing her social security card — lay near her body.

An autopsy concluded she died of head injuries.

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

About Karla Hartkemeyer

Karla Jean Hartkemeyer was born June 25, 1960, the daughter of Darrell D. and Lucille M. (Radeke) Hartkemeyer.

She died October 27, 1995.

Karla was survived by her brother, Karl, and father, Darrell.

Her mother preceded her in death in 1985.

Karla was buried at the Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Two years after Karla’s murder, her father passed away Dec. 19, 1997, following a short illness. He, along with his wife and daughter, was buried at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Karla Hartkemeyer’s unsolved murder, please contact the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at (515) 961-1122 or the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010 or email dciinfo@dps.state.ia.us.

  • Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, former Cold Case Unit, December 13, 2009
  • United States Social Security Death Index, FamilySearch.org, Karla J Hartkemeyer, 27 Oct 1995; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  • United States Public Records, 1970-2009, FamilySearch.org, Karla J Hartkemeyer, Residence, Des Moines, Iowa, United States; a third party aggregator of publicly available information.
  • Find a Grave Memorial for Karla Hartkemeyer
  • “Obituaries: Darrell D. Hartkemeyer,” Cedar Rapids Gazette, December 21, 1997
  • “Woman’s body found in Warren County,” Spencer Daily Reporter, March 14, 1996
  • The (Dubuque) Telegraph Herald, Thursday, March 14, 1996
  • BillionGraves Index, FamilySearch.org, Lucille M Hartkemeyer, died 1985; citing BillionGraves, Burial at Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery, Cedar Rapids, Linn, Iowa, United States.
  • United States Social Security Death Index, FamilySearch.org, Lucille Hartkemeyer, Dec 1985; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).


13 Responses to Karla Hartkemeyer

  1. Lb says:

    Found an old Polaroid picture of her in my dads old things that made me wonder if they had ever caught anyone. Very sad they didn’t but hopefully they will someday.

  2. I worked with her some years before this happened. She didn’t deserve this. :(

  3. No but where is everyone on the James Freddy Workman case? The boy who is 18?

  4. I pray someone comes forward, to get some answers.

  5. Sandy Annett says:

    Seems like we have allot of unsolved murders in this state

  6. Diana Wilson says:

    I’m glad they’re still studying these cases. I hate that these people were killed and their murder is still unsolved…..but….I do like reading all I can about them. Weird I know. Wish I was into forensics and could help solve crimes!

  7. I pray someone comes forward. This is sad.

  8. Jacky says:

    My father and I were the ones who discovered her body while antler hunting. Her death still haunts me and I still see the scene in my mind. I hope they find the monster who did this and justice is done.

  9. Jeanne Payne says:

    I think she had undiagnosed cerebral palsy. She used to come in to the bar I worked for dinner and a drink. I worked on Court Ave. She had worked for the owners previously at the bar Grapes & Grain, and came for a visit. I was kind to her and she latched on to me. Many staff made fun of me for my kindness. I recognized she was slow, God Bless her. She probably got taken advantage of by some predator. What a terrible world we live in. I hope her case is brought to justice.

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