ricky-neal-morehouse Courtesy photo Robin Morehouse
“Little Ricky” Morehouse III

Ricky Neal Morehouse, III


Ricky Neal Morehouse, III
2 YOA (25 months old)
165 Cherry Street
Kent, IA
Union County
March 3, 2001

Case Summary compiled by Jody Ewing

Two-year-old Ricky Neal “Little Ricky” Morehouse, III, burned to death in the upstairs bathroom of his biological mother’s home in Kent, Iowa, on Saturday night, March 3, 2001.

Ricky and his twin brother, Reggy, who lived in Harlan, Iowa, with their biological father, Rick Morehouse, Jr., had been spending the weekend in Kent with their mother, Rachel Page, when the fire — deemed arson by investigators — was set and Little Ricky was killed.

Union County in Iowa
Union County in Iowa
Kent in Union County Kent in Union County

Reggy did not suffer any injuries in the fire.

For more than a decade, Little Ricky’s unsolved murder has been a source of disbelief and outrage in the two southwest Iowa communities.

Father Had Won Custodial Battle

Rick Morehouse Jr. and Rachel Page split up shortly after the twin boys were born.

Rick Morehouse married Robin Hogue on June 11, 1999, and the twins became a central feature in their lives as Rick battled to gain custody of his two young sons. Rachel had difficulty controlling her anger — according to a family member, she is listed on the Department of Human Services’ Child Abuse Registry — and the court awarded legal custody to Rick.

Rachel was granted unsupervised visits with her sons.

In March 2001, the boys were spending the month’s first weekend with their mother at her two-story home at 165 Cherry Street in Kent, approximately 100 miles southeast of their Harlan home.

Rick Morehouse worked a late shift on Saturday, March 3, and he’d just arrived home that night when Harlan police officer Kevin Petty knocked on his door and told him there had been a fire at Rachel’s home. One of the twins was dead, Petty told Morehouse, and Rachel was at the Creston Greater Community Hospital.

Rick immediately left for the hospital — close to a two-hour drive — and Robin placed a call to the hospital and spoke with Rachel’s mother, Linda Page. During this phone conversation, Robin learned Little Ricky had died in the fire but that his twin had suffered no injuries at all.

Mother Fails Polygraph

Once he arrived at the hospital, Rick was told his son Ricky was dead. Rachel told both Rick and investigators the same story.

ricky-and-reggy-morehouse Courtesy photo Robin Morehouse
Ricky Morehouse (right) with his twin brother, Reggy

The power had failed, Rachel told authorities, so she’d gone to the basement to fix the fuses and restore the power. She said afterward she’d gone to check on the twins, who were sleeping upstairs.

The power then failed a second time, she said, though no neighbors reported any outages.

Rather than try to restore the power again, Rachel said she instead decided to clean out her car, which sat parked in the driveway.

It was 10 p.m.

The outside temperature already had dropped below freezing to 30 degrees.

There’d been no precipitation that day, and the maximum wind speed had reached only 9 miles per hour.

Rachel told investigators that while working on her car outside, she saw flames shooting from the upstairs bathroom window. Though the car was parked in the driveway, she’d not seen anyone enter the home. She rushed in, she told authorities, and found Reggy at the top of the L-shaped stairway. She carried him out of the house, she said, and returned for Ricky but said she couldn’t find him.

Neighbor Sherry Trembly, who called 911, and Rachel’s aunt Linda Roach, who lived nearby, were two of the first to arrive on the scene. Both women reported they found Rachel “standing in the yard with Reggy” when they arrived.

Morehouse house fireCourtesy photo Jeff Young, Creston News Advertiser
The home at 155 Cherry St. in Kent, Iowa, where 2-year-old Ricky Morehouse burned to death in the upstairs bathroom.

The Creston and Lenox fire departments responded to the alarm. Creston Assistant Fire Chief Mick Landers told officials that when he and volunteer fireman Eric Shawler arrived, the fire was largely contained to the upstairs bathroom. Shawler had then gone into the home with a pre-connected fire hose and air pack to search for the missing 2-year-old.

As the fire spread outward from the bathroom, Shawler continued to make repeated trips into the house in search of Little Ricky, with no success. The grisly truth about what happened to the toddler would not be known until firefighters extinguished the blaze.


The fire at 165 Cherry Street had been no accident. It didn’t result from blown fuses or any kind of faulty wiring.

State Fire Marshal investigator David Linkletter ruled the fire as arson, and told Rick and Robin Morehouse that an accelerant had been used to ignite the fire.

That wasn’t all, he told the couple.

Rachel Luft today (Courtesy Facebook)

Rachel (Page) Luft today (Courtesy Facebook)

The fire had been set in the home’s upstairs bathroom, and state investigators believed the accelerant had been poured onto both Little Ricky and the bathroom floor before being ignited and Ricky set afire.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office had other egregious news.

The home’s bathroom door had been shut where the toddler could not escape, resulting in a fire burning so fast and hot that the fiery bathroom floor gave way and fell into the dining room below, where firefighters eventually found Little Ricky’s charred remains.

There were no working smoke detectors in the house, though Rachel admitted to investigators she’d just checked on the boys and then gone outside to clean out her car just moments before spotting flames shooting from the upstairs bathroom window.

Ricky Morehouse III Courtesy photo Rick & Robin Morehouse
Ricky Neal Morehouse III

The death certificate for 2-year-old Ricky Neal Morehouse III stated he had burned to death and had not died of “smoke inhalation” as often happens in arson cases; the child had been burned alive.

Rachel Page — the niece of a county attorney in a neighboring county — also had telltale signs of having been present when the fire first ignited; her fingertips were burned, her hair singed.

Little Ricky’s surviving twin, Reggy, suffered no injuries, and authorities believe he was taken outside the home before the fire was set. Neither Reggy’s clothing nor any part of his body had any detectable smell or traces of smoke.

Officials asked Rachel to take a lie detector (polygraph) test, which she submitted to and failed.

Union County Sheriff Rick Peil told Rick and Robin Morehouse the Union County Attorney has not yet charged anyone in the arson/murder because he feels there is insufficient evidence to ensure a conviction.

About Ricky Morehouse
ricky-morehouse-gravestone-findagraveCourtesy photo Brad Albee, findagrave.com
Ricky Morehouse III is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Prescott, Adams County, Iowa.

Ricky Neal Morehouse, III, and his twin brother Reginald “Reggy” Morehouse were born January 23, 1999 at St. Joseph’s Hospital (now Creighton University Medical Center) in Omaha, Nebraska, to Rick Morehouse Jr. and Rachel Page. The couple separated shortly after the twins’ birth.

Little Ricky’s funeral was held Saturday, March 10, 2001 at Coen-Beaty-Pearson Chapel in Corning, with burial in the Evergreen Cemetery in Prescott.

In addition to his parents and stepmother, Robin Morehouse, Little Ricky’s survivors included his twin brother Reggy; his grandparents, Steve and Linda Page, Ricky Morehouse Sr. and Debbie Morehouse; and his great-grandparents, Glenn and Anna Ruth Hardest, Neal and Mary Morehouse, Floyd Hinkle, and Bill and Betty Page.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Ricky Morehouse III’s unsolved murder, please contact Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Mike Motsinger at (515) 725-6010 or contact State Fire Marshal Division Investigator David Linkletter at (515) 689-1463 or Investigator Mike Lillebo at (515) 250-5458.

Copyright © 2018 Iowa Cold Cases, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



161 Responses to Ricky Morehouse

  1. m says:

    Its obvious that the mother did this if he was in a closed room and the fire started there. She had time to go to the top of stairs and grab one twin but couldnt here the other twin give me a break! Shes on the child abuse registry also. This poor kid didnt get any justice just because this monster mother father is a county attorney! Shame on the system! Give this child justice! Im sure if she was tried she would be found guilty in a heartbeat!

    • Jackie D says:

      I can only assume the mother is guilty. It doesn’t make sense to go out and clean out your car at 10pm at night. It doesn’t make sense she didn’t feel like checking the circuit breaker again or fuses.
      Any containers around with finger prints? Did her clothes have flammable liquid spilt on them?
      I hope the worse life is ahead for her if she is the guilty one. Who else would do it? Esp if there is a record of abuse already?

  2. becky says:

    no words to describe this! how sad. :( the mother is listed on the child abuse registry…why was she allowed to have these precious children in her care in the first place..esp. unsupervised?! our justice system needs some major changes! if the courts would protect children from monsters like her the first time…this poor baby would still be alive!

  3. Jen says:

    If there was no smell of smoke on the surviving twin then he was NOT in the house. How sad the little boy died at the hands of a very messed up mother. She should not only be put on the child abuse registry but charged with murder.

  4. Jane says:

    Omg.. How sad. This case needs REOPENED! Left her kids alone in a dark/cold house (it was March) to go outside to work on her car? YEAH RIGHT! With all the testings that can be done now, let’s pray that someone reopens this case & brings justice to the little Angel who died at the hands of a killer before it happens again.

  5. Sean Lee Reilly says:

    Why, instead of trying to fix the power again, would she randomly decide to go out and wash her car at 10pm? She just left her twins inside a powerless house that, because it was late at night, would be completely covered in darkness? Also, why the hell would you decide to wash your car at night? It would be too dark to see any form of dirt on the car.

    No doubt that the mother played a sinister part in the death of this little boy.

  6. Deanna Koch says:

    Omg. Words can’t even describe how awful this is.

  7. Where is this piece of crap Mother? People are convicted everyday with less evidence. Hang her high.

  8. Where is justice for Little Ricky :(

  9. A.j. Gaddy says:

    Makes me so sick to my stomach!!! I hope justice is found for this precious soul!!

  10. Gayanne says:

    ok I have known the mother Rachel all her life she does not know have a mean vicious bone in her body,I don’t what happened that night but do know Rachel and know she didn’t NOT hurt her child and has mourned this child for years…I also believe it is wrong to judge her and that this article is not accurate.if she was on child abuse registronstry she could not be a caregiver and work in a nursing home and she is and has been for years,I also know she has a close loving relationship with her 14 yr old son ….lets get our facts straight and lay off her………….

    • Jody Ewing says:


      Thank you for taking time to write. You are incorrect, however, in your assertion that if Rachel were on the state child abuse registry she would not be able to be a caregiver in a nursing home. There are many types of criminal background checks — for instance a check of FBI records (which are based on fingerprints), using fingerprints to check state criminal history records, a check of the child abuse registry or the sex offender registry, just to name a few — and a good number of criminal background checks *do not* automatically include a check of the state child abuse registry. In fact, a person with a history of substantiated abuse may actually have violations that will not appear in a state or even a federal criminal database. (See page 3 of this report by NACCRRA.org.)

      The child abuse registry data is primarily accessed and used by state licensing agencies and child care employers to screen persons who will be entrusted with the care of children, but some agencies do have the option of running this specific background check if they so choose. Every state has established policies and procedures in place for conducting both state and national criminal history record checks.

      In Iowa, access to child abuse registry records may be provided “to individuals, agencies, or facilities providing care to a child, but only with respect to disposition data and, if authorized in law to the extent necessary for purposes of evaluating a person who is employed or being considered for employment, report data, for cases of founded child abuse placed in the central registry,” as reported by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. A list of these individuals or agencies may be found under Use of Records for Employment Screening at childwelfare.gov toward the bottom of the page.

      Even with records available for employment within the educational field, documented cases do exist where child abusers, and even convicted killers, have later found employment and actually worked with children and/or as caregivers. For instance, Gertrude Baniszewski was aided by most of her children, including Paula Baniszewski, in the prolonged torture, mutilation and eventual murder of Sylvia Likens, a 16-year-old girl the Baniszewskis had taken into their Indiana home in 1965. While Gertrude was found guilty of murder in the first degree, daughter Paula was found guilty of second degree murder for her participation in Likens’ death, and she served time in prison before being released in 1972.

      After completing her parole, Paula moved to Iowa, and using the name Paula Pace found employment in Conrad, Iowa, with the BCLUW school district. She’d worked there for 14 years and was currently working as a teacher’s aide for special needs students when an anonymous tipster called police and said they should look into her background. When officials discovered Paula Baniszewski and Paula Pace were in fact the same individual, she was fired (on Oct. 23, 2012) from the BCLUW school district. The heinous manner in which young Sylvia Likens was tortured and eventually murdered was called “the single worst crime perpetrated against an individual in Indiana’s history.”

      With cases such as the above having come to light in the past several years, the vast majority of Iowa school districts (if not all — there is no way I can ascertain that information from every single school district) now employ criminal background checks that include child abuse registry checks for those seeking employment. It is up to each individual district whether or not they wish to perform checks on current employees who were hired many years ago before current policies were enacted.

      I did not and have not accused Rachel Page of killing her son Ricky Neal Morehouse III; Ricky’s case summary page merely reflects the facts in his case. If you are in doubt as to the veracity of any of those facts, you are free to contact any of the following individuals and/or agencies:

      • The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (Mike Motsinger) at (515) 725-0030
      • Union County Sheriff Rick Piel at (641) 782-7717
      • State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds or State Fire Marshal Investigator David Linkletter at (515) 725-6145

      Yours very truly,

      Jody Ewing
      Iowa Cold Cases Founder and Administrator

      • Billi Vavra says:

        Thank you for all you do and have done to assist all of the victims.

        • Jody Ewing says:

          Thanks so much for your wonderful comment, Billi! It really means a lot to us!

          • Tisha Hartman says:

            Jodi I think your comment shows your passion dedication and well educated facts this makes me sick and makes no sense at all I pray for justice for little Ricky he deserves to rest in peace and someone held accountable!!
            These facts more than definitely speak volumes to many questionable inconsistencies . This needs to be REOPENED !!!!

    • Robin says:

      I can actually explain why she works in a nursing home while being placed on the child abuse registry list in the state of Iowa. She worked at the nursing home first; therefore, they would have no reason to do a background check for that. If you don’t think she has been founded for child abuse, I would be happy to share the numerous DHS reports that will in fact show she has, multiple times. I will agree now that Rachel has a good relationship with Reggy, but let us not forget all the abuse Reggy has suffered over the years since Ricky died; Several unexplained injuries (broken leg, stitches, bruises, etc.), not to mention the verbal and emotional abuse he has suffered as well. Also, I can name multiple times where she physically assaulted the boys’ father, Rick, when she upset with him. Perhaps you should have all the facts before you start making assumptions as well.

  11. Mandie El…We have had to remove parts of your very emotional post you wrote on January 24th due to some words that were offensive to a lot of our friends and readers. HOWEVER, I am going to repost what you wrote without the offensive words, so here goes: From Mandie El: “…who leaves the power off with 2 babies in the house? They need heat. This really makes me mad…they need to convict [the guilty person] and put her in general population and let them have her…” Mandie, while your original post was honest and straight from your heart, we do have to be aware that the victim’s families read everything that is posted and we do not want them to be even more upset than they already are. So many will agree with what you wrote. We just have to be careful HOW we write it. Thank you so much for your time, care and compassion in writing and I hope that you will continue to follow our Facebook page and our I.C.C. Website as well. Yours very truly, Kerry Connolly, Iowa Cold Cases, Inc.

  12. Bless their Little Souls.

  13. Erin says:

    The sad truth is so many people can get away with murder. If the police cannot hand a prosecutor evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, they won’t prosecute because juries have a history of non-conviction. Especially here in Iowa…look at how many ‘cold cases’ have had prosecutors who thought their cases were solid only to have juries acquit! (There’s “reasonable doubt” and then there’s common sense…so rare it’s like a super power!;) Lord, bless the victims and their families and punish the guilty, but when someone kills a family member or a child, punish them worse! Amen.

  14. Mike says:

    I just read that they have arrested a man for murdering the little boy in Mason City in 1994,so there is hope that the murderer of this little boy will yet be brought to justice.How anyone can be so cruel as to kill an innocent child is hard for me to fathom.After reading this story,I am convinced that the mother murdered her own son.What her reason was for murdering him is anyones guess,but it’s past time that charges are brought against her and she is punished for her crime.

  15. Devan says:

    i guess my only questions would be 1. wth was she out cleaning her car that late? because if i had two little kids i wouldn’t be leaving them alone.. 2.she failed the poly test.. because that doesn’t scream that shes lying about something? 3. she said she found the one twin on the landing after she saw the house was on fire.. so it would make scene that the boy would smell like smoke even a little and they said he didn’t. So wouldn’t that seem like she was lying about other things if shes already lied about the smoke on the kids clothes? i don’t know it smells kinda fishy..

  16. Becky says:

    This is pure bullshit, Rick did NOT have custody of those boys. Rachel is an excellent mother!! Those boys are her life. That damn house had a fire in the same place before and the landlords were told to get it fixed. Rick is not the father this damn story makes him out to be. He is a worthless father, he does NOTHING for his son!!It has been 12 yrs now since this terrible terrible accident happened, why can’t people leave her alone and let little Ricky RIP.

    • Kim says:

      This site does not dabble in supposition or falsitudes, the case summaries listed on here state only the facts of a case that have been provided to the site by the investigating agencies. Please read the summary of this case carefully and note where the state fire marshal states that the fire was a clear case of arson, with accelerant being poured on little Ricky and in the bathroom he was locked in before being cruelly set ablaze. That means tests were run on the evidence recovered at the scene and it was determined that instead of the fire being the result of faulty wiring or a bad fuse box, accelerants were detected, and why would there be any kind of accelerant in a bathroom? If you have evidence that proves the fire was not the result of arson, then why haven’t you taken it to the police so that they can then clear your friend or relative’s name, isn’t that what someone would do if they truly cared about the mother in this case?

    • Robin says:

      You know nothing about Rick or or what he did/does for Ricky and Reggy so don’t assume to. He is a great father; then, now and forever! The only person now that can truly be the judge of that is Reggy and believe me he will tell anyone who asks the same thing.

    • Brent Busch (@brentbusch) says:

      Becky, accidents don’t begin with accelerants.

    • Daniel schaffer says:

      I own that house and my family has owned it since 1990. I lived there most of my life and there were no previous fires there. And her story to the cops is bull shit! I was not very old when the fire happened by my brother was and Rachel was at the neighbors drinking. We know this because we were also there landlords. My brother was 20 at the time of the fire and searched four Ricky in the burning house before the fire department arrived. Rachel kept telling him were he mite be n the house and told him that he was definitely not in the upstairs bathroom. Sharps burg fire department was first on the scene due to the neighbor two houses away being a volunteer. The fire had nothing to due with the house. Now you know the real story and the house has been demolished were the tragic death occurred.

      • taylor schaffer says:

        And dont forget the next day after she was at the neighbors carrying a case of beer in one hand and reggie in the other. She blamed it all on the house wiring. I was raised in this house. She is a horribal mother she shiuld be killed and burned alive just like she did to this poor little boy.

        • Jody Ewing says:

          Daniel and Taylor, thanks so much for sharing your input. Seeing one’s childhood home burn and be demolished is tough for anyone, but worse knowing what tragedy occurred there. Ms. Page may have tried to blame it on faulty wiring, but the general public knows that simply isn’t true. State Fire Marshal Investigator David Linkletter ruled the fire arson with an accelerant used to ignite the fire in the upstairs bathroom.

          As the general public also knows, there’s no statute of limitations on murder, which means the suspect in this case could still be arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Eyewitnesses (including volunteer firemen) were already on scene before the fire spread outward from the bathroom, at which time the suspect remained outside — with burned fingertips and singed hair. This documentation should still be in Little Ricky’s case file. It’s a file begging to be reopened.

          One person asked why people can’t leave [the suspect] alone and let Little Ricky “RIP.” Aside from the obvious — that Ricky’s last minutes of life were anything but peaceful and will forever haunt those who loved and lost him — there’s this thing called the Iowa Code, Section 707.2.

          Things lost in this fire: one innocent life, one family’s childhood memories, many families’ future joys and memories yet to be made, and one conscience. Justice, however, may still be found.

      • Dustie Burton says:

        Daniel and Taylor, I also remember discussing this with your dad as this tragedy unfolded when I live next door.

  17. Jan says:

    Just curious, where is Reggie now? Who does he live with?

    This is a very fascinating story, but also very sad.

  18. Robin says:

    Reggy currently splits his time between Rachel’s (mom) and Rick’s (dad). However, around Thanksgiving 2013 he informed both Rachel and Rick that he would like to live at Rick’s permanently. Rick gave Rachel time to absorb that information before anything would happen, but just 2 weeks ago she informed Rick that she is not willing to agree the the new living situation for Reggy. Now Rick will have to take Rachel to court to fulfill Reggy’s request.

    • Jan says:

      Thanks for the information Robin. I am trying to imagine what his life is like.

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Oh Robin, I’m so sorry to learn Rachel isn’t willing to respect Reggy’s wishes. I often wonder what life must be like for him, knowing what’s publicly known about the incident that killed his twin brother. Judges often take a child’s age into consideration when the child chooses to reside with one or the other parent, and since Reggy will be 15 next week, I can’t imagine a judge not respecting his wishes.

      It surprises me that Rachel would want to step foot into any courtroom. Perhaps this might be a great opportunity to present the judge with copies of the State Fire Marshal’s report. Even if her attorney gets those records suppressed, the judge will still want to hear — in Reggy’s own words — why he prefers to live with Rick and you. Please do keep us posted, and I wish Reggy and your family all the very best.

  19. Shannon Bradley says:

    Being his aunt on his fathers side, we have been trying for years to get something done about this. Thank you to the person or people who finally came forward

    • laura poisel says:

      It’s no wonder actual murder cases remain unsolved. Rumors, innuedos, National Enquirer style reporting and sloppy police work all lead to dead ends for sensible individuals seeking justice. Can’t you vultures get a life of your own and leave this family and others alone?

  20. joyce says:

    She now cooks at the school in Lenox. How is that possible if she is on the child abuse registry? Also is very active with boy scouts.

    • Robin says:

      I believe I can explain the job part of your question. In Iowa when a person is founded for child abuse the name goes on the Child Abuse Registry List for 10 years. Rachel’s last founded report was in 2003. She has only had the job at the Lenox school for about 2 months. I believe she was off the list before she applied and got the job. As for the Boy Scout thing, I can only assume they do not do background checks on parents as they have never asked Rick and me for background information either.

  21. Bobbie preston says:

    Why hasn’t this been taken to the Iowa supreme courts. There’s plenty of evidence and witnesses from the sounds of it.

    • Robin says:

      I wish it was that easy! There are channels that people have to go to to get to the Supreme Court. We have even asked for a special prosecuted be appointed by the Attorney General of Iowa and that was denied. I think at this point it’s been so long that nobody but the ones closest to it seems to care about justice anymore.

  22. Nathan Handy says:

    I hope this poor boy gets justice soon.

  23. Me too. Justice needs to be served for the family and friends also. My prayers all the way.

  24. Lilac says:

    Boy Scouts in Illinois did a very thorough background check on volunteers. VERY thorough! And misdemeanors completely unrelated to children or violence exclude
    people from having any chance of volunteering. However, parents if Scouts might not be checked as carefully, or other states’ requirements might not be as stringent.

  25. Whoever would commit such a horrible act of violence is a VERY ill human being.

    God, please rest the soul of this little boy, who didn’t get to live his life out. Amen.

  26. This makes me so angry. I hope the truth comes out.

  27. Ashley Schmidt this is the one I was telling you about. Sad

  28. Debbie Buck says:

    WTH. Why wasn’t she charged? This is BS

  29. why cant they re open this case???????

  30. There’s no statute of limitations on murder, when they get more evidence, hopefully, he will have justice.

  31. Sarah Adams says:

    This is beyond sick, the worst way to die and it happened to a 2 year old?!

  32. Jodi Frye says:

    someone needs to get her drunk and get her to confess. always honest when your drunk. than she needs to be set on fire. horrible to say but a TWO YEAR OLD!! Sick and twisted human to do that to a baby!!

  33. Amy Joann says:

    Sounds like it was the mother!

  34. what an angel he was then, and now

  35. Cold Justice needs this case!!! How horrible.

  36. There are people out there who know what happened, they are cowards for not coming forward!

  37. Poor little one :( Praying justice is served! How can people live with themselves when they do these horrific things?!?

  38. Jade Hemsley says:

    Poor bub. I hope you get justice little one xoxo

  39. Poor little guy. I hope he gets justice and i hope whoever did this rots in hell

  40. Angie Wunder says:

    Poor little guy. Hell has a special place for whoever did this.

  41. Wtf that should have been enough for a conviction!

  42. I remember this…..I can’t believe she is still free!! Where were the detectives???

  43. Candace Hart says:

    Wtf is wrong with people!?????? Rip little one!!!!

  44. Psycho b*tch needs to burn.

  45. Dear God – who does this? Smh

  46. Diana says:

    Who is the current sheriff and county attorney?

    Everyone on this thread, including myself, could make a chain of phone calls, letters, emails to these individuals encouraging an arrest with the “evidence” available. At minimal the dust could be swept off the case and it be brought to the public’s attention again. Wouldn’t be the first time a conviction went through on circumstantial evidence, and 14 years later, seems worth the risk to me.

    • Robin says:

      Rick Piel is the Sheriff. I email him all the time; it does no good. His responses have always been when there is new evidence he will actively investigate again. I have told him several times that he needs to investigate to find new evidence. It seems it’s a Catch-22.

  47. Diana says:

    Would you post his email?

    Do you know who the current county attorney is?

    While you feel you are getting nowhere, there is encouragement in numbers.

  48. Diana says:


    Above link will list take you to the Union County IA Rick Piel page. On that page is email, phone, address etc.

    Anyone truly concerned in justice for Ricky please choose to use one of these methods of contact and write Rick Piel. Encourage him to use the evidence he does have.

    Writing the county attorney as well.

  49. Diana says:


    This is the website to send a email to the Nancy Grace show. It’s quick and easy. If enough people email, perhaps she will look into this and highlight it.

    Yes, I emailed her! Who will be 2nd?

  50. Robin says:

    My last conversation with Rick Piel (unioncosheriff@iowatelecom.net)

    Rick: “As you are aware then, I was there and to my knowledge no new evidence has surfaced to look at the case again. If there was something new to look at I would be more than glad to take another look. Rick ”
    Me: “Well, that is upsetting. I always thought you had to investigate to find new evidence. Perhaps talking to Reggy since he does remember that night. But I see that you won’t. Sorry I bugged you about it. Guess I know now if you kill someone in Union County you will get away with it.”

    I do not know who the current county attorney is unfortunately. I did have several friends who submitted Ricky’s story to various television shows; sorry I do not remember all of them. The main thing with all that contacted us was that unless Rachel was interested in being on the show/talking they were not interested in profiling the case. Also, Senator Nancy Boettger of Iowa personally sat down with my family and assured us she was going to look into the case and get something done about it. Nothing ever materialized from that either.

    Just this past Sunday Reggy asked me “why do you hate my mom?” I said “Reggy, I don’t hate your mom; I just don’t like some of the things she has done. Otherwise she would probably be a nice person. Then Reggy says “well why did she kill Ricky?” I said “That’s a question you need to ask her, but don’t expect an honest response if any.”

    • Diana says:

      Okay, so you are step-mom, correct? Please go to the Nancy Grace site and fill it in. It can’t hurt :-). When you are done, encourage someone to be #3.

      I have drafted a letter to Rick Piel, but waiting for approval as I’ve used some info from this site. When I receive a response I will post it.

      In addition, I have a friend who is a homicide investigator. She specializes in familial homicide. Once I speak with her, I’ll post her information. Anyone who’d like to contact her should.

      A letter to the editor of surrounding newspapers dispelling the injustice in this case and the fact that it appears to be “sitting” would be beneficial. I don’t believe there is a statute of limitations on murder so any factual evidence brought to light, all the people involved highlighted (again) at this point is beneficial. So too is the fact that voters new to the area might take Rick Piels work, or lack of, into account when voting time rolls around.

      Has the family thought of a civil case against the mother?

      Poor Reggy. He is in my prayers. To be linked to such devastation at the proposed hand of a parent, so sad!

    • such a sad story. :(. prayers for the family.

  51. Diana says:

    Have you contacted the special agent in charge at DCI?

    • Robin says:

      Yes, I am step-mom. I will talk to Rick about Nancy Grace because ultimately it is his decision. We have contacted newspapers and tv stations before. A couple newspapers did articles. We have not contacted the DCI agent because we did not known one had been assigned until recently. Also, we briefly considered a civil suit, but she has nothing to sue for so I don’t think any lawyer would take the case unless we paid a rather good amount upfront. And that’s just not possible.

  52. Diana says:

    Special Agent in Charge Mike Motsinger at (515) 725-0030.

    For informational purposes, anyone can contact the Nancy Grace link and propose the investigative idea of Ricky’s case. A civil suit would be for the sole purpose of finding her responsible for his death and the peace associated with it. A civil suit may draw truths from anyone who may know more than they’ve shared.

    At any rate, I fully understand the monetary issues related to such cases and would suggest a fundraiser/s or continuing to look for someone who would take this case pro bono. It is possible.

    Until then, don’t give up hope. The Bible tells us all dark is eventually brought to light.

  53. Diana says:

    Tim Kenyon is the attorney for Union County. His email address is…


    Again, I’m encouraging everyone on this blog and beyond to rally and email, write or call Sheriff Piel or Tim Kenyon for help with this case.

    I’ve emailed them both a letter. If I get a response I will share it.

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Diana, thank you so much for encouraging everyone here to get involved! There is definitely strength in numbers, and with the solid evidence documented by the state fire marshal’s office, there’s really no reason this case can’t proceed. Rachel even admitted to investigators that when she was outside “cleaning out her car” she had NOT seen anyone enter or exit the home. The fire marshal’s office made it quite clear this was not a “faulty electrical wiring” fire or any other type of accident; it was ARSON and started by an accelerant that burned alive a child locked in an upstairs bathroom.

      In addition to Nancy Grace, another contact person would be Daniel Slepian, a producer with Dateline NBC. His contact info:

      daniel.slepian@nbc.com or daniel.slepian@nbcuni.com

  54. Sandy R says:

    Oh that poor, poor baby! This just breaks my heart! In this day and age, it amazes me that this case can’t be solved. Especially with such blatant evidence! Who leaves small children in a house AT NIGHT with no power, to go clean out their car? I can only hope and pray that Little Ricky’s last few moments were quick. It’s terrible to think about how much that little boy suffered! Something that has bothered me..would there be a reason that she wanted one twin dead and not the other?

    • Robin says:

      Sandy, I am not saying this is the reason, but she has always favored Reggy. Even when Ricky was alive the favoritism of Reggy was very obvious to most people.

      • Sandy R says:

        Robin..that is so sad. But I have seen that before, and it’s so heartbreaking. Ever since I read about this case, I have felt so badly for Ricky. I know he’s dancing and playing happily in heaven, where everyone loves him the same!

      • Jody Ewing says:

        Like Robin, I am not saying this is the reason, either, but Ricky did share the same given name as his father. “Transference” (redirection of one’s feelings to a substitute) is very real, and it’s “possible” she favored Reggy over Little Ricky because Ricky was a constant reminder of Rick. Obviously, Rick did nothing wrong, but if the suspect wanted to hurt him or get back at him but had no way to do so, his namesake child unfortunately could have become the “next best substitute.”

        I am not a psychiatrist/psychologist and the above is just one possible theory.

  55. upinomaha says:

    I am unable to find a “Cherry Street” in Kent IA using Google maps. Has the street name been changed?

  56. Robin says:

    I believe it’s called 244th Street now because the town of Kent was disincorporated in 2003 and it’s now just considered a part of Union County.

  57. Gay Appelhans says:

    thoughts and prayers go to the family and may peace fill your heart,not a year goes by I don’t think of that precious little boy who is forever a angel

  58. Diana Wilson says:

    She had to have done it. Lie detector test? Poor child. God carried him to heaven.

  59. Kayla Kay says:

    How is there not enough evidence for a charge? This “Mother” deserves to be set on fire and burned to death.

  60. She’s disgusting. She had to of done it. I wonder if she did it to him because he was named after his father. Anyone that can hurt a child is warped. She should be in jail and definitely not working with the elderly or children.

  61. Laura says:

    Robin. I wonder how reggy and Rockies families feel about your public bashing of this case in general. Please ask for thier blessing before commenting again. We understand your frustrations but going public like that absolutely is wrong to do to Reggy.

    • Robin says:

      Well since I’m not “publicly bashing” this case I’m not sure what you are trying to say. Since I am one of a few people who want the authorities to do the right thing I wouldn’t say I’m bashing anything; more like bringing awareness to a miscarriage of justice. And since I’m still married to Ricky (yes, that’s how it should be spelled) I’m pretty sure I have more than just his blessing but his full support since he knows about everything I have ever written about the case. Also, Reggy knows as well. Unlike some people (Rachel), I do not hide behind family friends to do my talking and bad-mouthing for me. I have been very upfront about my thoughts and feelings about Ricky’s death since they day he died.

      • Sandy R says:

        That’s a very decent reply, Robin. Kudos to you for keeping your anger in check in such a horrible situation! I just can’t stop thinking about the poor little boy..I hope and pray justice WILL BE SERVED.

    • Robin says:

      Oh, I forgot to add, if you go all the way back to 2001 and read the Des Moines Register is the first one who made this public, not me.

  62. I so agree with Kayla Kay . This is so heart breaking for this young child.

  63. Kayla Kay says:

    They need to make an arrest!

  64. This is outrageous, she needs to be in prison. Being related to a neighboring county attorney has something to do with her being free – I’m convinced

  65. Cat Vogel says:

    outrageous and heartbreaking. They should have locked her up and thrown away the key

  66. Lynn LaRue says:

    Poor little man she’s a monster hope they get her

  67. This woman sounds like Susan Smith v. 2.0. :( I wonder how his brother is doing.

    • Reggy is doing wonderful. Very responsible 17 year ago old and gets awesome grades in school. Rick and I are very proud of him.

    • Robin- did you adopt him

    • Unfortunately, I have not legally adopted him since his mother would never sign off on it. Doesn’t really mean anything though; he is still very much my son.

      • Hi Robin. I’ve enjoyed reading your articulate, well thought out comments on here. Do you have an opinion on why charges were never filed beyond ‘not enough evidence’? I read that Rachel’s uncle was/is an attorney- did that have anything to do with it? It just doesn’t make sense. She had singed hair, burned fingertips, not to mention the failed polygraphs. What more does the DA office want?? I feel certain she would be convicted by a jury of her peers.
        Do you know if they ever found any accelerants in or around the house that she may have used?

        • Robin says:

          I really wish I knew why charges were never filed. The only thing we can think of his because of her uncle, Ed Hardisty. When you’re in small towns like that if you’re connected to right people you can pretty much get away with anything. I do know multiple times DHS recommended child abuse charges against her in Adams County, but it’s ultimately the county attorney’s decision and her uncle would always decline to prosecute. By the time he was voted out of office it had been several years and at that point nobody was actively investigating so the case just sat like it continues to today. He ended up being county attorney in Sac County after that where he has also been accused of misconduct.

          The state fire marhsall’s office brought in dogs to sniff for accelerants. They alerted that there was something when taken to what was left in the bathroom. David Linkletter later told us that they believed it was charcoal light fluid that had been used as an accelerant.

  68. This is heart wrenching . Who ever set that poor helpless child on fire needs to have that done to them. Pure evil

  69. Tammi Smith says:

    ? why is she not arrested. No one in or out, cold out and she is cleaning out her car with one child, she has burns on her fingers and hair> I am not a forensic specialist, but come on!!!

  70. How on earth was she not prosecuted for this ghastly crime?

  71. Diane Wright says:

    The afterlife is the truth…she or whoever did this horrible crime will pay for what they did…not in this life, maybe..but guaranteed in the next and it will not be fun….monster!!!!

  72. Oh my god thats so horrible and sad

  73. Gay Appelhans says:

    rip little precious Ricky 15 yrs ago you went to be with the angels your life was short but you live on in our hearts everyday precious boy,

  74. Cyndi Treu says:

    poor little brothers I hope Reggie has had as happy life….in spite of his terrible loss. The years have not been good to the birth parent by the looks of her fb pic….

  75. Connie Burch says:

    sadmy boys lived in kent about that time…scary

  76. CSJ says:

    Beautiful Boy

  77. Lori Valderaz says:

    I can’t believe you can get away with a murder & a horrible way to die because you are related to someone. This is unreal in this day & age!!! Why is no one outside protesting & picketing the Uncle’s office & home. If you can protest a Lion being killed where is the outrage over a defenseless little boy’s death. esp. being killed by his crazy mother!!!

    • LuAnn says:

      Bring Rachel here in Mitchell County where I live…They would have thrown the book @ her here…Not enough evidence my ass……There was plenty of evidence…sounds like she wasnt a very good mother…There is plenty of evidence to convict her. They need to reopen this case and get off their asses!!..No excuses…….Her parental rights to Reggy should also be terminated.and Robin then should be allowed to adopt Reggy..By reading this I know that Reggy loves his mother but just by the comment he made..Why did she kill Ricky? Young children are very observant and inquisitive & pick up on things very quickly…especially in their surroundings…Justice needs to be served not only for Ricky but for their family….My deepest condolences to the family….God Bless You & May Sweet Little Ricky RIP….

  78. anonymous says:

    The surviving twin (Reggy) needs to hit the mother with a civil wrongful death lawsuit before the civil statute of limitations expires. Although there is no criminal statute of limitations for murder, there is a civil statute of limitations for a wrongful death action. Since Reggy was a minor at the time of his brother’s death, the SOL will “toll” until his majority. Make the woman answer questions under oath at a deposition.

  79. Cody says:

    I’ve never read nor heard of anything so unbelievably EVIL in my life. I thought I was hallucinating while reading this. As a father, and as a human being, tears are shed for this young boys soul..
    This screams of an open and shut case! I mean what more do they need? I only wish I could be of some kind of help. Prayers go out to the family.
    Respectfully- Cody

  80. gay anne appelhans says:

    16 yrs ago tommarow you became an angel Ricky you are never forgotten and are missed by many my deepest sympathies to the entire family and my prayer is that the truth of what really happened that horrible night would be discovered and all the false allegations would stop………..it was a tragedy a horrible tragedy making allegations and gossiping and trying to be judge and jury isnt going to bring this precious baby back I will NEVER believe Rachel hurt her son NEVER and neither does the legal authorities in union county or they WOULD have prosecuted her or someone.I went to hospital and saw Rachel after this horrible tragedy and the greif and sadness she was experiencing was real …………blessing and peace to everyone on this sad anniversary of this tragedy

  81. Mike says:

    It’s been sixteen years since this innocent child was murdered by his own mother.Isn’t it time that the authorities charge the mother with his murder and prosecute her?This murdering bitch should be behind bars paying for her crime!! I am outraged that justice has not been meted out in this case!!!

  82. Jim Farrell says:

    I can only assume that the statement “did not die of smoke inhalation” means that smoke was not found in his lungs. Does anyone else think it possible the child was dead/killed before the fire started?

    • Robin says:

      Jim, he was not deceased first. His cause of death is thermal injures. No smoke in his lungs because his airways were literally burned before the smoke could get there.

      • Natalia Mills says:


        I tried to contact you via email a few years ago. Jody and Tim as well. I only heard back once. I still am waiting to go back and do my senior project for my bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. I would be so happy to have your blessing to do so and reach out to a few contacts Jody sent me. If you and/or Rick would be willing to do an interview for my thesis when I go back to school I would so appreciate it. Would you please consider?

        • Jody Ewing says:

          Natalia, I responded to you via email tonight, and will check back in with you tomorrow (Thursday). Thanks so much for writing and your willingness to help us work toward justice in Ricky’s case!

        • Robin Morehouse says:

          Natalia, first off I want to apologize for not getting back to you sooner. I talked to Rick the same day I saw your message and then I spaced off replying and that’s my fault. Again, I apologize.

          You have both of our blessings as wells as Reggy’s. We would be happy to do an interview with you and answer any questions you may have. Ricky stated he would like it if you could work it around his work schedule. He generally has most weekends off. If that won’t work for you he said he could always participate over the phone. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you for taking an interest in Ricky’s case.

          • Natalia Mills says:

            Thank you so much, I look forward to speaking with you soon! I will reach out via email instead of on here next time.

            Also, thank you Jody for taking the time to help me and Robin connect.

  83. Brandy Haffner says:

    He was found below the bathroom where he had fallen through the second floor, he was also found with accelerant on him, and it was in the bathroom.

  84. Stay Strong, Keep Fighting For Justice! says:

    It is unbelievable that this young child’s psychopath’s mother has not been held accountable. Appears to be total incompetence by law enforcement.

    Fortunately Ricky is now in heaven while his whack job mother will burn in hell for eternity.

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