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On February 16, 1983, 58-year-old Maurice Kneifl was reported missing to the Sioux City Police Department by Kneifl’s girlfriend, Joyce Fish — whom he’d been dating for many years — and her daughter, Lori.
Maurice reportedly was last seen on February 14, 1983, driving his 1981 dark brown Fleetwood Cadillac, Iowa license plate, HIZ379.
Kneifl had left his girlfriend’s residence around 9:30 p.m. When he failed to show up in the morning to give her a ride to work, Joyce became concerned and began making calls.
Kneifl owned and operated Fethke Cleaners located at 1209 West 26th Street in Sioux City. He failed to show up for work on February 15 and all days thereafter.
Kneifl — a respected local businessman — had served as mayor of Hartington, Nebraska, for many years. He was the city’s only mayor not running for office to win an election via write-in votes.
He and his wife owned a dry cleaning business for over 30 years before her death on Feb. 18, 1978.
At the time of Kneifl’s disappearance, he’d been trying to convince one of his two daughters, Kandy, to leave her husband, Delbert Beauchene, who was facing his fourth incarceration. Beauchene, the owner of Interstate Speedway (now Raceway Park) had served three separate stints in prison — both with the state and the federal penitentiary — and was in trouble once again. Kneifl had evidence regarding his son-in-law’s illegal activities and was prepared to testify with what he thought was sufficient evidence to put Beauchene away for good.
Kneifl turned up missing before he had the opportunity to testify.
Kandy passed away on August 20, 2004, and Beauchene, who suffered from kidney problems, died March 4, 2008.
Neither Kneifl’s body nor his car has ever been found.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact the Sioux City Police Department at 712-279-6390.