Ryan Fulkerson

Ryan Fulkerson’s last profile picture on his Facebook page. (Courtesy Facebook)

Ryan Fulkerson


Ryan Fulkerson
26 YOA
Decatur City
Decatur County
Body found unconscious in rural ditch: Sunday, May 11, 2014
Date of Death: Friday, May 16, 2014

Ryan Fulkerson, a 26-year-old father of twin girls, was severely beaten, shot in the head and then dumped in a rural Decatur County ditch and left for dead on Sunday, May 11, 2014.

A farmer discovered the unconscious body around 10 a.m. Sunday morning in a ditch just north of Decatur City.

Ditch where Ryan Fulkerson found

Ryan Fulkerson’s body was found in this rural Decatur County ditch by a farmer May 11, 2014. (Courtesy photo KCCI News)

Fulkerson was taken to the Decatur County Hospital for treatment of his injuries and later transferred to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, but remained in a coma for several days. He died from his injuries on Friday, May 16, 2014.

Decatur County Sheriff Burt Muir said at first they didn’t know if Fulkerson had been beaten up or hit by a car. They later learned he’d also been shot in the head.

When he died, they opened up a homicide case and called in the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation for assistance, KCCI News Channel 8 reported in a story that aired May 19, 2014.

View the video at KCCI.com

An autopsy determined Fulkerson died from the injuries he’d sustained in the attack.

Decatur City in Decatur County, Iowa

Decatur City in Decatur County, IA (Courtesy Google)

Decatur County Attorney Lisa Jeanes and Sheriff Muir announced that a $2,000 reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Fulkerson’s death.

The reward money—from special funds derived from asset forfeitures—is used to enhance law enforcement efforts.

Sheriff doesn’t believe death related to accused cattle thief

In a KMAland.com news report that aired May 20, 2014, Sheriff Muir said he didn’t believe the death of Fulkerson—an accused cattle thief—was retaliation by the owners of the cattle he took.

KMALand 960 AM & 99.1 FM aired the following on May 20, 2014:

(Leon) — The Decatur County Sheriff says he doesn’t believe the beating death of a 25-year-old accused cattle thief was retaliation by the owners of the cattle he took.

Ryan Fulkerson of Decatur City was found in a ditch by a farmer May 12th. He had bonded out of the county jail four weeks before that. Fulkerson was taken to a Des Moines hospital where he died last weekend. He was charged with stealing cattle in Iowa and trying to sell them in Illinois. He had been arrested in Illinois.

Sheriff Burt Muir says he thinks the case will be solved quickly.

Investigators are trying to figure out why the father of twin girls was targeted; he had recently been arrested for stealing 14 head of cattle from a local farmer … selling them at a cattle auction in Illinois … and was then found unconscious in the ditch approximately 10 days after he was released from an Illinois jail.

Authorities do not believe the homicide was vigilante justice in retaliation for the cattle.

Cecil Gaddy with his nephew and niece Courtesy photo WHO-TV, Des Moines
Cecil Gaddy was a proud uncle who loved spending time with his niece and two nephews.

“I believe this is going to get solved. How quick I’m not sure, but it’s going to get solved,” the sheriff said. Muir said he’s confident because deputies had talked to a lot of people and were getting several leads.

DCI agents arrived in Leon on May 20, 2014, to help with the investigation.

In an unrelated twist, Fulkerson had served as an honorary pallbearer 10 years earlier for Cecil Travis Gaddy, a 19-year-old paraplegic who died in a suspicious January 31, 2004 house fire in Osceola.

Cecil Gaddy’s death also remains unsolved.

The investigation into Fulkerson’s death continues.

About Ryan Fulkerson (from obituary)

Ryan Scott Fulkerson, son of Scott Alan Fulkerson and Tammy Kaye Ross Fulkerson was born October 10, 1987 in Des Moines, Iowa and passed from this life Friday, May 16, 2014 at Mercy Hospital Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa at 26 years of age.

Ryan grew up in Murray and moved with his family to Leon where he graduated from Central Decatur High School in 2006. He worked in the Leon area and in his free time he enjoyed working on cars and building derby cars with his brother and their friends. His greatest enjoyment was spending time with his twin daughters and nieces and nephew.

Those relatives who preceded Ryan in death were his grandfather, Robert Ross Sr. and grandmother, Patricia Fees.

Ryan leaves to cherish his memory, twin daughters, Shayelynn and Sharolynn; parents, Scott and Tammy Fulkerson of Leon, IA; sister, Ashley (David) Sorter of Murray, IA; brother, Cody Fulkerson of Leon, IA; niece and nephew Kelsey and Austin of Murray, IA; niece, Kylie of Fort Collins, CO; grandmother, Jean Ross of Osceola, IA; grandfather, Gary Fees of Polk City, IA; grandfather, John (Linda) Fulkerson of FL; aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.

Memorials may be directed to his family to be decided on at a later date.

Memorial services were held at Kale Funeral Home, Osceola, Iowa, at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 24, 2014. Cremation followed the services.

Visitation with family present was held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Ryan Fulkerson’s unsolved murder you are urged to call Sergeant Chris Lane with the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department at 641-446-4111 or Agent Mike Rowe with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at 641-342-6263.



4 Responses to Ryan Fulkerson

  1. Anonomous says:

    Well..probably not admissable in court but someone told me that Vince Spidle admitted that he and Gary Bethards had killed Ryan after catching him trying to steal Garys cattle again. Supposedly this was said during a hunting trip shortly before Vince died. And lets face it, Decatur county cops arent smart enough to solve a riddle, much less a murder case. So incompetent its pitiful. I know the twins mom very well, and Nikki would never harm anyone, much less the father of her children.
    My heart goes out to the family, especially Tammy and those beautiful girls who were cheated of a father and for what? If theres any truth to this, my guess is justice will never be served. Around here, its nit about what you do, but who you are, and for as long as I remember theres too much money and influence in the last name for them to hold Bethards accountable.

  2. Tammy Fulkerson says:

    If anyone has any information please call the authorities. We are coming up on 10 years since my son passed and still nothing….Someone knows something.

  3. Adam M. says:

    “Sheriff Burt Muir says he thinks the case will be solved quickly.”

    “I believe this is going to get solved. How quick I’m not sure, but it’s going to get solved,” the sheriff said.\

    Yet still cold case? Wonder what fell through?

    • Aaron Miner says:

      There are people who believe I had something to do with Ryan’s death and to be truthful I don’t understand how someone would even mention My name unless that same someone had something to hide.
      I also want to include that there once was a female officer of Leon by the name of Blake Kofoid who once told Me something I will never forget. She was in tears when She told Me She believed Me and that She knew I had no part in His death. She stated that there was a female who was not in uniform in decatur County who had the authority to discontinue DCI’s investigation with the case. Something about lack of evidence and I believe some political BS concerning jurisdiction or the length in timing of the investigation. Furthermore I do understand now and am led to have determined and in My own belief that the woman She didn’t know who but the woman She had spoke to Me about is Lisa Jeanes whom is also known as the decatur County district attorney. Lisa Jeanes has a nephew who is named Nick Phelps whom I am led to believe is one individual behind Ryan’s death. I pray that Ryan’s family and others as well as Myself will one day see the justice that is deserved! I wish I knew more that I could say however I must leave that to Ryans family. More specifically His Mother Tammy. I am so sorry that I was not there to help Ryan when He needed it the most and if He is watching I just gotta say that I Love Him like a brother and I will never stop piecing the facts. Fact is Belinda Reed You are guilty of knowing some critical information in regards to this. Also why was Ryan’s FBT never spoken of when found and pulled out the ditch next day on h45 north of leon. Also what about this gun that Ben Grove had spoken of seeing when interacting with either Ryan’s babies momma or Nick Phelps or the two individuals altogether. May We solve this one day and place all corrupt officials on the stand and out of office. Lisa Jeanes You are protecting either Your nephew or You are protecting Your interests. I’m confused because I thought all people had to follow by the same rules and laws which are supposed to be applied to US all but I guess just as Angela Hill gets special treatment from the prosecution so does Lisa Jean’s and all other corrupt officials or non officials working amongst Us with legal authority in the Decatur County iowa and other surrounding areas!!! Try to prove Me wrong and U may just solve this case!

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