Linda Mayfield

Linda Mayfield (Courtesy Council Bluffs Police Department)

Linda Mayfield


Linda Mayfield
21 YOA
3320 West Broadway
Council Bluffs, IA
Pottawattamie County
Case Number: D82-0713
April 9, 1982


Pottawattamie County in Iowa
Pottawattamie County in Iowa
Council Bluffs in Pottawattamie CountyCouncil Bluffs in
Pottawattamie County

On April 9, 1982 at 2:18 a.m., officers were called to the Starlite Motel at 3320 West Broadway in Council Bluffs, Iowa, regarding a disturbance involving a man with a knife. When officers arrived at the scene, Linda Mayfield, 21, was found lying face down by the north office door.

The responding officer said the victim had several stab wounds to her face, chest, stomach, hand and foot.

Mayfield, who resided at 3852 Franklin Street in Omaha, was transported to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs by ambulance and died in surgery at 4 a.m.

A witness in the case — a friend of Linda’s — stated the offender was a Caucasian male, 26–28 years of age, 5’7 to 5’10, clean shaven, and wearing a blue jean jacket, light blue pullover shirt that had an emblem on it and blue jeans.

Starlite Motel in Council BluffsCourtesy photo Google Street View
Linda Mayfield was stabbed numerous times at the Starlite Motel in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in April 1982. Linda died during surgery two hours later.

The offender was also said to have lots of body hair that came up over his shirt collar.

The witness remembered the offender’s first name as “Chris.”

At this time the offender’s full identity is unknown and the case remains unsolved.

A Similar Murder

Less than three months after Mayfield’s murder, another young woman was also stabbed to death in a Council Bluffs motel.

On June 25, 1982 at 12:27 p.m., Council Bluffs Police officers were sent to investigate the death of a female in Room 106 of the Best Western Motel at 2216 27th Avenue. The victim was identified as 32-year-old Lee Rotatori.

Nearly four decades later, on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, Council Bluffs Police Captain Todd Weddum announced in a press release that police detectives had cleared Rotatori’s cold case.

In 2001, the evidence collected in 1982 was resubmitted to the State of Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Lab for examination. Advances in forensic technology revealed the presence of a male DNA profile. When entered into the State and Federal DNA databases, there was not a match for this DNA. The DCI Lab would periodically check this unknown DNA over the years, without ever getting any matches.

In April 2019, Council Bluffs investigators submitted the unknown male DNA profile to Parabon Nanolabs to begin a genetic genealogy case. In February 2021, researchers from Parabon and ES Genealogy, who examined familial relationships, concluded that Thomas O. Freeman, of West Frankfort, Illinois, was the source of the suspect DNA.

A sample of Freeman’s daughter’s DNA was subsequently analyzed by the Iowa DCI Lab, which confirmed that there was a parent/child relationship between the DNA found at the scene of Rotatori’s murder and Freeman’s daughter.

Courtesy Find a Grave
and the Omaha Star
April 15, 1982

Freeman, 35, was found buried in a shallow grave near Cobden, Ill., in October 1982 — just four months after authorities allege he killed Rotatori.

About Linda Mayfield

Linda Mayfield was born August 8, 1960, in Omaha, Nebraska.

She died April 9, 1982 at Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs.

She was a lifelong resident of Omaha.

Survivors included her son, Dajuan, daughter, Dwaynda, mother, Wilma Mayfield, Omaha; five brothers, John of Lincoln, NE, Danny, Leon, Kalvin, and Kervin; two sisters, Dottie and Kathy Mayfield, step-sister, Ruby Gordon, and grandmother Dorothy Mayfield, Omaha, along with a nice and other relatives.

Funeral services were tentatively arranged for eleven o’clock Wednesday morning, April 14, from the Thomas Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. J.J. Brown officiating.

Linda was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Omaha, with arrangements made by the Thomas Funeral Home.

Linda Mayfield

Linda Mayfield (Courtesy Council Bluffs Police Department)

Information Needed

If you have any information regarding Linda Mayfield’s unsolved murder, please contact the Council Bluffs Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at (712) 328-4765 or Crime Stoppers at (712) 328-7867.



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16 Responses to Linda Mayfield

  1. Sue Johnson says:

    Linda Mayfield was my best friend when we were kids. I hope they solve this case.

  2. chance says:

    this has franklin scandal written all over it

  3. Amanda Harlan says:

    So the Murder for Lee Rotatori was solved just this February. Maybe Thomas Freeman also killed Linda?

  4. Melanie Wood says:

    I don’t see a motive here. Very strange.

  5. Kaylin J says:

    Where can I get in touch with the family? I’ve written a poem inspired by this case and I’d like to share it with them.

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Kaylin, I just received an email from someone reminding me I hadn’t included on Linda’s page the fact that Lee Rotatori’s murder had been solved. I did get that added.

      Additionally, on Linda’s findagrave site, an individual had posted a short clip of Linda’s obit from the Omaha Star. I have incorporated that information into Linda’s case summary, with a link to the Findagrave page.

      Many thanks to “Andy” for the reminder to let readers know Ms. Rotatori’s case has been solved.

  6. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    Also, their was the murder of that couple at the Amana Holiday Inn, in September 1980. I notice that all three of locations are connected to Interstate -80. On another webite, they mention a witness claiming the offender was driving a red in color Ford Mustang. I wonder if a similar vehicle is connected to any other cases.

  7. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    As usual, I will ask if these cases were entered into the FBI’s VICAP system. It might identify a pattern or link to other crimes. Who knows it might be connected to other unsolved cases

  8. Oops – my bad, and thanks for catching this, Robert J. Riley! Yes, I’d meant to type Council Bluffs, not Cedar Rapids.

  9. diva says:

    So very sorry.for.the.lost.of your.sister. i pray they.find the responsible person so prison

  10. Council Bluffs motel- not Cedar Rapids–but horrible nonetheless…

  11. Lord, have mercy, *** amen

  12. Vhelma says:

    By any chance do anyone ever considered the case in Ft. Dodge could be related to this one. Angie Marie Altman how died of the same thing something to look into.

  13. Praying for the family

  14. Sherrie barnett says:

    I think about Linda often. I remember she had just had her babies. I really hope her killer will be found and brought to justice. RIP Linda, you are missed

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