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Cab driver Matt Pusateri, 26, was shot in the head about 3 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, 1988, while sitting in a Cedar Rapids parking lot.
Pusateri, who worked for the “Yellow Cab” company, sat parked in the 800 block of Sixth Street SW when two men approached the cab.
Police speculate the two assailants tried to rob Pusateri, and then shot him after he refused to hand over any money.
Police have compared Pusateri’s murder to that of Brian Schappert, 22, also of Cedar Rapids, who was stabbed to death less than one year later as he worked at the Kum & Go convenience store at 2743 Mount Vernon Rd. SE.
Both victims were described as “good kids,” and robbery most likely was the motive in both homicides.
There was also the possibility that in each case, the young man died because he recognized the robber and could have identified him to police.
Both cases remain unsolved.
In May 1998, the Cedar Rapids Gazette and KCRG TV9 partnered in an “Unsolved Murders” series profiling several local cases.
In addition to Pusateri’s slaying, the series also featured a number of other unsolved cases, including the murders of:
Steven J. Klein, 54, was arrested in Muscatine, Iowa, July 17, 2015, and charged with first-degree murder in Kersten’s nearly 20-year-old unsolved homicide.
The Gazette and KCRG continue to publicize Iowa cold cases in efforts to reach readers and viewers who…somewhere…know something.
Matthew E. Pusateri was born Oct. 3, 1962 and died Nov. 12, 1988.
He served with the BTFN in the US Navy.
He is buried at Saint Johns Cemetery in Cedar Rapids.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department currently has two Cold Case Unit volunteer investigators who work exclusively on unsolved homicides. These investigators work closely with other investigators from both the Cedar Rapids Police Department and other law enforcement agencies.
The current investigator assigned to the Cold Case Unit is J.D. Smith, a retired Agent for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
If you have any information about Matt Pusateri’s unsolved murder please call the Cold Case Unit at (319) 286-5919 or email Investigator J.D. Smith.