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On Tuesday morning, May 26, 1998, sometime between 9 and 9:45 a.m., Patricia Anne “Pat” Jauron, 45, was viciously stabbed several times in the rural Sioux City home she and her husband, Eugene “Gene” Jauron, had vacated six months earlier.
The couple had just moved out of one home at 1516 Old Highway 141 and into another across the road at 1541 Old Highway 141, and had been selling off the last few items from the former home.
According to Gene Jauron — who spent more than 40 years as a meter reader for MidAmerican Energy — the couple had held an earlier yard sale and a person who’d attended the yard sale allegedly called several times afterward inquiring about purchasing the waterbed and setting up a time to meet.
Patricia, who’d just retired from the Sergeant Bluff Middle School, went across the road at the scheduled appointment time, and, according to her husband, was “supposed to be gone only for a few moments.”
In a 2005 interview with KTIV News Channel 4 reporter Melissa Lanzourakis, Gene Jauron talked about his late wife and said he believed he’d met her killer face to face.
From his home across the highway, Jauron said he saw a red car, and believed the car belonged to the man who murdered his wife.
When Pat didn’t return home, Jauron said he went to check on her at the other house. He said he found the waterbed in the basement covered in blood.
“He’d hit her in the head, knocked her down and tied her up,” Jauron said. “She still had the twine on her one arm, but she got loose. He started stabbing. She got out the basement door and she got out into the yard and he must have stabbed all the way out.”
Jauron said he’d found his wife’s body over an embankment and that all he could do was hold her. The stabbing had been so forceful, he said, that “the knife’s blade had broken off in [Pat’s] chest.”
Jauron contacted the Woodbury County Communications Center at approximately 10:52 a.m. to request assistance.
According to the medical examiner, Patricia Jauron died sometime shortly after 9 a.m.
The couple had been married 25 years and were just settling into retirement.
“She was the life of the party…never see her grumpy…always willing to help everybody,” her husband said.
Gene Jauron said he felt there were still many clues to be followed up on, and believed they met the killer at the garage sale before the murder.
The man, he said, paid for a dresser that day but never came back for it.
Jauron said the same man told him he worked at an area packing plant, and that phone calls made before the murder were traced to a pay phone near a local convenience store.
As for the red car in the driveway, Jauron said they were clues he’d like to see tackled in a cold case crime unit. He also believed someone in Siouxland knew what happened.
“Somebody around here knows,” he told KTIV’s Lanzourakis in the 2005 interview. “He would have had to have been the most horrible bloody mess you ever seen in your life. All I can do is hope they get him.”
Investigators called the savage murder “personal in nature,” indicating the victim very likely knew her killer.
On Thursday, June 4, 1998, Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Amick announced that a Sergeant Bluff couple and a local business, all of whom wished to remain anonymous, and Pioneer Bank had each contributed $2,000 to start a reward fund for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Mrs. Jauron’s killer. At that time — just nine days into Patricia’s unsolved slaying — Amick said the sheriff’s department and other area law enforcement were looking for the red car Gene Jauron said he saw during the time period his wife was killed.
Amick hoped the $7,000 reward, which included $1,000 from Crime Stoppers, would draw out those who knew something.
“People come forward with information for different reasons; sometimes it’s money,” Amick said about the new reward in a Sioux City Journal article published June 5, 1998.
In August, investigators and command staff from the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agents conducted a case review in attempts to develop new avenues to resolve the murder, and on October 29 presented the case to a criminal investigative analyst from the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC).
By early November, the NCAVC had begun analyzing the case in efforts to develop a profile of the Sioux City woman’s killer.
A Journal article published Nov. 7, 1998 acknowledged authorities had focused on the red car at one point in the investigation. They hoped the analysis from the NCAVC would help them further examine the facts in the unresolved case.
Gene Jauron died without ever seeing his wife’s murder case solved. He passed away on Thursday, January 12, 2012, at a Sioux City hospital.
Patricia Anne “Pat” (Kane) Jauron was born July 16, 1952, in Emmetsburg, Iowa, the daughter of Leo Michael and Phyllis (Gilchrist) Kane. She attended grade school in Cylinder, Iowa and graduated from Emmetsburg High School in 1970. She then attended Iowa Lakes Community College.
She married Gene Jauron on Aug. 8, 1972, in North Sioux City. She had been a resident of Sioux City since 1972. She was employed with the U.S.D.A. for a brief time and later was the librarian and then secretary for Sergeant Bluff Middle School.
She served on the Sergeant Bluff School Board from 1995 to 1997.
She died in Sioux City on Tuesday, May 26, 1998.
Services were held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 30, at Sergeant Bluff Middle School, with the Rev. Gerald Feierfeil of Nativity Church officiating. Visitation was held at the Christy, Smith and Hockenberry Funeral Home on Friday, May 29, from 1 to 9 p.m., with the family present from 6 to 9 p.m. Burial was in Memorial Park Cemetery.
Survivors included her husband; her mother of Cylinder, Iowa; a daughter and her husband, Annette and Howard Simpson of Guymon, Okla.; two sons, Jason Patrick of Le Mars, Iowa and Kevin Andrew and his wife Sherrie of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; a brother and his wife, William and Ann Kane of Los Lunas, N.M.; three sisters and their husbands, Sherrie and Harlan Meints of Ute, Iowa, Ginger and Dale Hoffman of Graettinger, Iowa and Therese and Charles Duhn of Emmetsburg; and a granddaughter, Kayla Simpson.
She was preceded in death by her father and a son, Eugene “Buck” Jauron.
Pallbearers were Steve Jauron, Ron Brandl, Jim McCrystal, Roger Miltenberger, Larry Nabor and Ray Geary.
If you have any information about Patricia Jauron’s unsolved murder, please contact the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office at 712-279-6010 or 800-352-6352, or Crime Stoppers at 712-258-8477 or 800-728-6401.
KTIV’s Melissa Lanzourakis contributed to this report.