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Kathleen V. “Kathy” Stith, 47, was found dead Thursday evening, February 24, 1994, in a Des Moines townhouse she shared with Scott Macy, her 32-year-old boyfriend of five years. Stith was found upstairs on a sofa, a blanket over her head.
Stith and Macy, who resided together at 966 E. Sixth Avenue, had been involved in an on-and-off tumultuous relationship over the years, and Macy had been arrested for domestic abuse on four separate occasions between 1986 and 1994.
According to reports Macy provided to Des Moines police, four people had allegedly spent the night at the couple’s townhouse. Macy told officials he’d slept upstairs on a sofa, while Kathy slept in a first-floor bedroom. He said Kathy’s 16-year-old son, Denny Dellaca, and Denny’s friend, Chris Davis, had also slept downstairs.
Macy said that early Thursday morning, he’d loaded his tools into his truck and then gone back inside to leave cigarettes for Kathy. She was no longer in the downstairs bedroom, he said, and had moved upstairs to the sofa where he’d slept, where she lay with a blanket over her head.
Macy told police he put a pack of cigarettes next to her head and left the townhouse at approximately 8:30 a.m. He said he did not check to see if the two boys were still there but believed they were still sleeping.
The townhouse was unlocked when he arrived home from work at 5 p.m., Macy said, and the TV was on.
Upstairs, Macy said he found his girlfriend on the sofa where he’d last seen her, the blanket still over her head, and that it didn’t appear she’d touched the pack of cigarettes. It was then, he told investigators, he realized Stith was dead.
The couple had no telephone, and Macy said he left and went to a phone booth, where he telephoned the police department and then his mother.
An autopsy performed by Polk County Medical Examiner Dr. R.C. Wooters placed Stith’s time of death at approximately 8:30 a.m., the same time Macy reportedly left the townhouse for work.
Stith, Wooters believed, had been strangled.
Stith’s unsolved murder was included in a list sent to Iowa Cold Cases’ Jody Ewing on July 10, 2009, by Des Moines Police Lt. Camden Moran.
Kathleen Violet “Kathy” (Rushing) Stith was born on June 27, 1946.
She passed away on February 24, 1994.
Kathleen is buried at the Laurel Hill Cemetery in Des Moines.
If you have information on the unsolved murder of Kathleen Stith, please contact the Des Moines Police Department at 515-283-4864.