Michael Carr

Michael Carr’s graduation photo, courtesy Janelle Turner (Michael’s sister).

Michael Edward Carr


Michael Edward Carr
19 YOA
Highway 9 and Emmet County blacktop A-22, eastbound side of road
Estherville, IA
Emmet County
Crime Date: December 26, 1975
Date of Death: January 2, 1976


Case summary by Jody Ewing

At approximately 10 p.m. Friday, the day after Christmas 1975, Michael Edward Carr was struck by a vehicle on the west edge of Estherville, Iowa, while walking home.

The hit-and-run happened near the intersection of Iowa Highway 9 and Emmet County blacktop A-22.

Emmet County in Iowa
Emmet County in Iowa
Estherville in Emmet CountyEstherville in Emmet County

The 19-year-old Carr, who worked for the catalogue merchandiser “Ardan’s” in Des Moines, had spent the evening with a friend at the “Filling Station” bar in Estherville.

A local couple found Carr on the road’s eastbound side, his arms folded across his chest like a body in a coffin, and with his head resting on the curb. The Emmet County sheriff said Carr had been positioned there, leading officials to believe that whoever hit Carr most likely knew him.

Carr’s body sustained numerous bruises in the hit-and-run after being struck by the vehicle’s bumper, the windshield and the top of the car. A maroon vehicle or a red pickup truck may have been involved.

Carr was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, where he died one week later on Friday, January 2, 1976.

In an Estherville Daily News article dated January 7, 1976, Estherville Chief of Police Robert Seylar said police were still interviewing possible witnesses and continuing with the investigation.

Following Carr’s death, his family received two anonymous letters, which they handed over to police. The family knew one letter had come from a girl Carr may have dated; she’d stated in the letter how nice he was and how sorry she was about what had happened to him.

The family described the other letter’s contents as “strange.”

In addition, Father Al Grendler of Estherville’s Catholic Church received a $500 donation to go to the Carr family, though the donor wished to remain anonymous and Grendler would not reveal the person’s name. He did tell the family it was not “guilt money.”

Police spoke with the priest about the donation, but Grendler would not disclose the donor’s name to them, either.

One good thing did come from his death, a family member said; a man who’d been on dialysis for some time received one of Michael’s kidneys.

About Michael Edward Carr
Michael Carr gravestone

Michael Edward Carr is buried at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Estherville, Iowa. (Courtesy photo Mary Sicard, findagrave.com)

Michael Edward Carr was born October 22, 1956, in Des Moines to Robert Edward and Dolores (Bible) Carr. He received his education in St. John’s Grade School and Tech High School in Des Moines and Estherville High School, graduating in 1975. He moved to Estherville with his family two years prior to his death.

Michael worked for Robo Car Wash while attending high school and had worked for the Rock Island Railroad during the previous summer. He had enrolled at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for the second semester, and was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

Courtesy photo the Carr family
From left to right: Kathy, Mike, Linda, and Mary Carr as young children

Services were held at 11 a.m. on Monday, January 5, 1976, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Estherville, with burial at St. Patrick’s Cemetery.

He was survived by his parents; five sisters, Linda of Des Moines, Mrs. Kathy Chandy of Minneapolis, Minn., Mary, Janine, and Janelle of Estherville; and his grandmother, Mrs. Agnes Bible of Waite Park, Minn.

Michael’s father, Robert, passed away in May 1978 — just 2-1/2 years after his son’s death — without ever learning what happened to his only son.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Michael Carr’s unsolved homicide, please contact the Estherville Police Department at (712) 362-6084, or the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office at (712) 362-2639.


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18 Responses to Michael Carr

  1. Amber L Berg says:

    Praying that the Carr family finally gets answers.

  2. MikeD says:

    Who was the friend he spent the evening with at the Filling Station? Did that friend also walk home or did they have a vehicle? Had he done this walk home from Filling Station any other time? I assume he was walking back to his parent’s home.

  3. Linda Carr says:

    With so many mysterious deaths and searches for someone to question, makes me wonder who are those that would be questioned in Mike’s death??? Seems like no one ever mentioned a thing about this then 1975! So much time has passed by …. It would be such a relief to get some answers. I pray that we could get some answers! Thanks to everyone who works to help families of victims get some help to help healing of these deaths.

  4. Rick Duhn says:

    I remember it fairly vividly. A vision that will never go away… :(

  5. Diana Wilson says:

    That is sad. How could someone life with themselves.

  6. John Parker says:

    Somebody has possibly had to live for 40 years knowing they ran someone over. I hope it haunted them every single day.

  7. I worked with his mother. She also has passed without knowing what happened. So sad. RIP.

  8. Janelle Turner, hopefully the “sharing” will also produce some new lead or some type of small tip. What might seem like an insignificant detail to one person could make all the difference to investigators. Thinking of you and yours over this holiday season. Jody at ICC

  9. Thank you to those who have “shared” this on their Facebook pages. My family appreciates the kindness.

  10. Linds Carr says:

    It’s been a long time, but still very clear in my minds eye
    As well as in my heart. It would be so great to get some
    Answers! Especially having both parents gone now-
    this time of year cannot help but be overshadowed with
    Mike’s death, especially since its this time of year
    that we lost him.

  11. Mary Carr says:

    I was just wondering the funding for this year and next for the “Cold Case Unit”. It seems for a state of our size there are far too many of them.
    Thanks so much!

  12. Mary Carr says:

    I just saw this but yet it still seems like yesterday My brother told me, I was a great sister, his last words to me. Mike your nieces and nephews even know of you. We miss you and love you! I pray one day this person who I believe did accidentally hit him will come forward the true will set us and free.

  13. Linda Carr says:

    It is so strange to see my brother’s picture on here! I pray that one day this mystery could be solved after years of wondering. Mike , you are still in our hearts and minds.

  14. Janelle, we will never forget Michael either. Keep the faith that someone will come forward. Nancy Bowers

  15. We still hold hope that Mike’s case will one day be solved. You are not forgotten, Mike!

  16. So sad. I wish I could help but back than I was just a infant.

  17. Linda Carr says:

    I was so surprised to find out there was a COLD CASE department here in the State of Iowa. I Hope and pray that this case as the others could some day be solved, so that we can put this whole thing to rest. Just reading this brings things back and seem fresh in memory. It seems that there are so many unanswered questions…then and still now. Thank you for all the work you are doing!

    Llinda Carr

  18. Janelle Turner says:

    Thanks for doing this! We hope that one day, we will be able to put an end to years of uncertainty.

    Janelle Carr

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