For reprint permissions please email us the name of the requested post/article along with the publication name.
Nicholas “Nick” David White, a 20-year-old Drake University student, was murdered on Monday, November 26, 2012, in a Des Moines home he shared with two other young men.
Des Moines police said the 20-year-old student died of undisclosed trauma in the basement of a house located at 1511 29th Street. The home is about one block away from Drake’s main campus.
White shared the 29th street home with Ernest “Ernie” Carl Mueller III and Randall “Randy” Morgan Watson, who told police they found White’s body around 1:45 p.m.
Des Moines Police Sgt. Jason Halifax said police deemed the death suspicious based on factors like the position of White’s body and location of blood in the vicinity.
The medical examiner has officially ruled White’s death a homicide, though police have not released the cause of death other than that it was trauma to the body.
Detectives have interviewed White’s roommates, and police continue to question people in connection with the case.
“He was always a person you’d want to be around, and a lot of people gravitated toward him because he was such a kind person,” White’s friend, Jason Ashby, told KCCI Channel 8 in an report that aired November 28, 2012. “I don’t understand how anyone could do that.”
Ashby said everyone in the home was tight-knit and that no one had any grudges of which he was aware.
Police said they do not believe the killer is on the loose and do not believe this was a random act of violence.
White’s parents established a website in their son’s memory at nicholasdavidwhite.com, and said its purpose was to “continue to remind us of who Nicholas was, that those involved have not been charged, that some individuals with knowledge of the events have not yet come forward, and to keep some of the memories we cherish available to you.”
The site provides regular updates on White’s murder, a photo slideshow and other links related to White’s case.
On May 3, 2013, the family posted that their son’s two “friends” had refused a polygraph.
On May 8, 2013, Southeast Polk High School awarded the Nicholas White Scholarship to one of its students. Mike and Rhonda White — Nick White’s uncle and aunt — set up the scholarship in Nick’s memory.
On November 29, 2013, the Polk County Crime Stoppers website posted the following update:
11/29/2013 – Nick White Homicide Update
One year ago 20-year-old Nick White died of undisclosed trauma in the basement of a home in the 1500 block of 29th Street, near Drake University. The medical examiner has officially ruled the death a homicide. Polk County Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.
The White family is separately offering an additional $4,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
More information can be found at www.nicholasdavidwhite.com
Nicholas David White was born to Ron and Nita White on February 17, 1992, in Des Moines. He grew up just outside Pleasant Hill with his siblings, Emily (whom he called Elomie), Will, Sam, Bryan, and Stephany. From the very start he was strong, determined, and loved by all. He began as a little boy with a head full of perfect curls who was always into mischief of one kind or another, and grew into a handsome young man full of potential. He grew up going to church and came to know Christ as his personal Savior when he was in the AWANA program.
He was a gifted runner and won several awards in track while attending Southeast Polk High School, where he later graduated. Nicholas was also a talented artist with a gift for creativity. His works were passionate and full of life. His bright smile and sense of humor were always welcome.
Nicholas was survived by his parents; his grandparents, Howard and Harriett Sloan of Carbondale and Bob and Virginia White of Runnells; siblings, Emily and Heath Hyder of Ankeny, William and Betsy Abbott of Urbandale, Samuel White of Vermillion, South Dakota, Bryan White of Altoona, and Stephany White; many aunts, uncles and cousins. He was a loving, caring son, grandson, brother, nephew, uncle, and friend.
Visitation was held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, December 3, at Capitol City Baptist Church. Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the church followed by burial at Lowman Cemetery near Runnells. Memorial contributions were to be directed to the family.