Ruthie Kingery Pohlmeier

Ruth “Ruthie” Kingery Pohlmeier (Courtesy photo

Ruthie Anna Kingery-Pohlmeier


Ruthie Kingery
(aka Ruth Pohlmeier)
37 YOA
3839 E. 14th Street
Des Moines, IA
Polk County
Investigating Agency: Des Moines Police Department
Case # 04-14785
April 25, 2004
Case Summary by Jody Ewing

Ruthie Kingery-Pohlmeier, 37, was found dead outside the AMF Des Moines Lanes bowling alley in the 3800 block of East 14th Street in Des Moines on Sunday night, April 25, 2004.

According to investigators, Kingery-Pohlmeier was the victim of a brutal attack before her killer wrapped her body in a blanket and placed it next to the bowling alley at 3839 E. 14th St. on the city’s northeast side.

She lived at an apartment building just two blocks away at 1210 E. Seneca Avenue.

Polk County in Iowa
Polk County in Iowa
Des Moines in Polk CountyDes Moines in Polk County

In an Associated Press story published April 28, 2004 in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Des Moines Police Sgt. Tony Steverson said a motive for the killing was unknown and the cause of death was pending toxicology results from the coroner.

An autopsy would later determine Kingery-Pohlmeier died from severe blunt trauma injuries to her head and face.

One of 11 siblings, Ruth Kingery-Pohlmeier also had a brother who’d been murdered five years earlier.

Samuel John Kingery, 42, of Ames, was killed August 25, 1999, during a dispute with his friend, Patrick L. Curnes, Steverson said. Curnes, 44, of Nevada, Iowa, was sentenced to life in prison in 2000 for Samuel Kingery’s slaying.

Steverson said there appeared to be no connection between the two slayings.

In a Des Moines Register article dated April 30, 2004, Sgt. Steverson said detectives were working on [Kingery-Pohlmeier’s] case in shifts while other detectives covered daily cases.

Steverson said detectives were also following up on tips, though they’d not yet made any arrests.

In the apartment where Ruthie Kingery lived, Des Moines police asked all the building’s male residents to submit DNA samples in efforts to eliminate them as potential suspects, and police also collected a DNA sample from Kingery-Pohlmeier’s ex-husband.

According to one of Kingery-Pohlmeier’s family members, DNA test results proved Ruthie’s ex-husband was not the killer.

A $3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the person or persons responsible for Ruthie’s death went unclaimed.

AMF Des Moines Lanes bowling alleyCourtesy photo AMF website
Ruth Kingery-Pohlmeier’s body was found wrapped in a blanket behind the AMF Des Moines Lanes bowling alley on the city’s northeast side on Sunday evening, April 25, 2004. According to police, Kingery-Pohlmeier died from a brutal attack that included severe blunt trauma injuries to her head and face.
About Ruth Kingery-Pohlmeier

Ruth Ann Kingery was born August 1, 1966, to George and Mertice (Baker) Kingery.

After a tumultuous marriage ended in divorce, Ruth slightly altered her first and middle name to Ruthie Anna. She had an abundant smile and zest for life, and looked to find good in all that crossed her path.

She had an aptitude for art and already had begun doing sketches.

Her survivors included three sisters, Mary Elliott of Boone, Laura Fraizer of Des Moines and Alice Schnormeier Kingery of Gilbert; and four brothers, David of New Virginia, Dan of Phoenix, Paul of Des Moines and Chuck Kingery of Arizona.

Ruth Kinger Pohlmeier's gravestoneCourtesy photo Brian Dunshee,
Ruthie Anna’s gravestone in Gilbert Cemetery in Story County.

Two other sisters preceded her in death: Georgie Anna Kingery and Phyllis Long; one brother, Samuel; her father, George; and her mother, Mertice.

The family held a Time of Remembrance ceremony at Brooks Funeral Care from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 30, 2004.

Ruthie was laid to rest in Gilbert Cemetery in Gilbert, Iowa, in Story County.

Information Needed

Ruthie Kingery’s family members still seek answers in her senseless death.

Anyone with information regarding Ruthie Kingery-Pohlmeier’s unsolved murder is asked to contact the Des Moines Police Department at (515) 283-4864 or Crime Stoppers at (515) 223-1400.

  • Lt. Mark A. Wessels, Des Moines Police Department, correspondence to Iowa Cold Cases, June 15, 2015
  • Des Moines Police Department, correspondence to Iowa Cold Cases, July 10, 2009
  • Polk County Crime Stoppers
  • Personal correspondence with Ruthie Kingery’s family members
  • Ruthie Anna Kingery (1966 – 2004) – Find A Grave Memorial
  • “Ruth Pohlmeier-Kingery Obituary — Clive, Iowa,”
  • “Iowa News,” Cedar Rapids Gazette, April 28, 2004
  • “Investigation Continues in Death of Woman,” Des Moines Register, April 30, 2004
  • Person Details for Ruthie Kingery, “United States Public Records, 1970 – 2009” —
  • Person Details for Ruthie A. Kingery Pohlmeier, “United States Social Security Death Index” —


15 Responses to Ruth Kingery-Pohlmeier

  1. Ida says:

    I don’t want to say these things on here.

  2. Kyla says:

    Are these old cold case is still being worked on? I want to help solve a cold case. Is there a place we can find out more information? For example was their DNA put in CODIS? It would be beneficial if some of these cases were opened up to the public to try to solve, especially old cold cases like this.

  3. Tom Pohlmeier says:

    I don’t think Owen did that. I never heard of back door bill, she never mentioned him.I hope the truth comes out before I die.

  4. Veronica N Allen-Guzman says:

    No DNA was collected from Radio City Mobile Home park across the street from her apartment. No description of the blanket either. I pray for justice.

  5. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    I think there would be some forensic material on the blanket. Also, why leave the body outside a bowling alley. I wonder if she hung out there or was seeing someone connected to the place. There is no mention of her being employed. Maybe, she had a conflict with someone at work, or someone was stalking her.

  6. I do agree that someone knows something. And they should come clean.

  7. Somewhere, someone always knows something, and in this new age of advanced DNA testing methods, technology is about to catch up with a lot of individuals who thought they got away with murder. Mary Carr’s brother, Michael, was only 19 when killed in a hit-and-run the day after Christmas in 1975.

  8. Mary Carr says:

    My heart goes out to her family and friends, as my brother is a cold case I understand completely that never ending closure that eats away at your heart.

  9. I will share!! I hate the fact that some murderers are never found. However, we know that Karma is strong and powerful. Ruth’s murderer will never know peace and spend his life looking over his shoulder! RIP, Ruth.

  10. Once again im so sorry. My heart is torn from these people taking other lifes. Not right. God bless her soul. And family and friend.

  11. unknown says:

    Anyone ever take owen ericksons dna? or William Ferrands (back door bill)?

    • Margaret says:

      It’s odd to me nobody acknowledged your comment. What makes you bring up these two men? And I’d say bring it up to the police.

    • Mary Elliott says:

      I am Ruth’s sister. And I see this coment is from so long ago. How did I miss this. My stomach hurts. I’ve sent in request for reopening this case several times but haven’t gotten it’s been so long. I am at a time , that I have a little more time to pursue this, can someone help?

    • Mary Elliott says:

      Could you tell me a little more about these two men?
      I am Ruth’s sister, and I am wandering why you mentioned them?

  12. scott kilmer says:

    I am a cab driver. picked someone up from a hotel that was in a fight and I was wondering if the woman murdered had a large gash in the bottom of her foot from glass.she acted like she really had no place safe to go.

Comment Policy

We encourage thoughtful discussion here but ask that comments remain civilized and constructive … i.e. without personal attacks or name-calling. Be respectful of others and remember that victims' family members visit these pages, too. If you'd like to provide us with information regarding a suspect or have other sensitive details to relay, please email us directly. Thank you in advance.

Share Your Thoughts