Guthrie County in Iowa
Guthrie County in Iowa
Casey in Guthrie CountyCasey in Guthrie County

Roscoe Donnel Harris


Roscoe D. Harris
46 YOA
Rural Route
Casey, Iowa
Guthrie County
DCI Case # 63-00639
July 6, 1963

On July 6, 1963, 46-year-old Roscoe Donnel Harris was shot in the left chest with a single shot .22 caliber rifle.

When the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Harris’ murder was one of approximately 150 cases listed on the Cold Case Unit’s new website as those the DCI hoped to solve using latest advancements in DNA technology.

Although federal grant funding for the DCI Cold Case Unit was exhausted in December 2011, the DCI continues to assign agents to investigate cold cases as new leads develop or as technological advances allow for additional forensic testing of original evidence.

The DCI remains committed to resolving Iowa’s cold cases and will continue to work diligently with local law enforcement partners to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice for the victims and their families.

About Roscoe Harris

Roscoe Donnell Harris was born April 16, 1917, in the Bear Grove vicinity, N.W. of Casey, Baker Township, Guthrie County, Iowa, to Mabel Irene (Rooker) and Fred A. Harris, and died on July 6, 1963, at the age of 46 years.

He grew to manhood on this farm and for several years worked on the Robert Maas farm. On Dec. 22, 1943, he was united in marriage to Melba Sue Maas. They made their home with her parents, where they spent their entire married life.

A son and daughter Bobby and Linda were born to this union. He leaves to mourn his passing, his wife Melba, his son and daughter, two brothers, Cecil, Adair, & Dale & two sisters: Mrs. Thora Armstrong, Guthrie Center and Mrs. Eldon McHibben, of Calcoma, Washington. Roscoe had been in poor health for some years. He was preceded in death by his parents, and one sister.

Funeral services were held Monday, July 8, 1963, at the Casey Methodist Church, officiated by the Rev. Richard G. Viney.

Roscoe served in the Army during World War II and is buried in Dalmanutha Cemetery in Guthrie County.

Information Needed
Roscoe Harris gravestone

Roscoe Harris is buried in Dalmanutha Cemetery in Guthrie County. (Courtesy photo “FLH” at

If you have any information about Roscoe Harris’s unsolved murder, please contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010, email, or contact the Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office at 641-747-2214.

  • Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Cold Case Unit, December 13, 2009
  • Personal correspondence to Iowa Cold Cases from Cindy Fry, March 18, 2011
  • “TUESDAY RITES HELD FOR ROSCOE HARRIS METHODIST CHURCH,” Casey Vindicator, Thursday, July 11, 1963, Page 1.
  • “United States Census, 1940,” Database with images,, Mabel I Harris in household of Fred A Harris, Ward 1, Waterloo, Waterloo Township, Black Hawk, Iowa, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 7-17, sheet 12A, family 243, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 1139.
  • “United States Census, 1930,” Database with images,, Roscoe Harris in household of Cluade Martin, Baker, Guthrie, Iowa, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 0001, sheet 7A, family 130, line 28, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 656; FHL microfilm 2,340,391.
  • “Iowa, State Census, 1925”, Database with images,, Roscoe Donnel Harris in entry for Fred Harris, 1925.
  • “United States Census, 1920,” Database with images,, Roscoe D Harris in household of Fred Harris, Baker, Guthrie, Iowa, United States; citing sheet 5B, family 113, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,820,491.
  • “A Card of Thanks,” The Guthrian, July 23, 1963
  • “Casey Area News Events,” by Mrs. Grace Hiscocks, The Guthrian, Guthrie Center, Iowa, Tuesday, July 23, 1963, Page 12
  • “Funeral Tuesday for Casey Farmer,” The Guthrian, Tuesday, July 9, 1963
  • “Iowa, County Births, 1880-1935,” Database,, Roscoe Dannel Harris, 16 Apr 1917; citing 87, Baker Township, Guthrie, Iowa, United States; county district courts, Iowa; FHL microfilm 1,651,851.
  • “Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934,” Database,, Fred Harris and Mabel Rooker, 25 Dec 1907; citing Mitchellville, Iowa, United States, county courthouses, Iowa.


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