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.



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