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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.