Susan Hagen (Courtesy Newton High School)

Susan Diane Hagen


Susan Diane (Wadsworth) Hagen
44 YOA
600 Blk Birdland Drive
Des Moines, IA (jurisdiction)
Polk County
Case # 1998-6532
February 12, 1998


Case submitted by Des Moines Police Department
Polk County in Iowa
Polk County in Iowa
Des Moines in Polk CountyDes Moines in Polk County

The badly burned body of Susan Diane (Wadsworth) Hagen, 44, of Des Moines, was found Thursday morning, February 12, 1998, along the Des Moines River under a bridge by a man walking his dog.

Des Moines police said Hagen’s mostly nude body was located in the 600 block of Birdland Drive. She’d sustained burns all over her body, though officials were unable to determine whether she had been sexually assaulted.

“Detectives are currently looking for an individual who is not only a killer, but, judging by the treatment of the victim, a very demented human being,” Sgt. Bruce Elrod is quoted as saying at a February 13 press conference, according to an article published February 14 in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Courtesy Cedar Rapids Gazette

Courtesy Cedar Rapids Gazette, Feb. 14, 1998

Two days later, another body was discovered near the site where Hagen’s body was found. Police identified the man — who had been shot to death — as that of 20-year-old Ky Van Luong, also of Des Moines.

Luong’s body had been dumped along a bike path, where it was found at approximately 8 a.m.

Courtesy Cedar Rapids Gazette

Courtesy Cedar Rapids Gazette, Feb. 15, 1998

In a February 15 article published in the Gazette, police said they did not believe the two deaths were connected.

About Susan Hagen

Susan Diane (Wadsworth) Hagen was born September 28, 1953, in Des Moines to Perry D. and Marjorie F. (Meyer) Wadsworth.

She graduated from Newton High School in 1972.

A longtime resident of Newton, she also lived in Marshalltown and Des Moines. She was employed as a bookkeeper and was a member of the Congregational Church of Christ and Past Rainbow Girls.

Survivors included three sons, Brett Waugh of Newton, Tanner Hagen of Idaho Springs, Colo., and Gary Shaw of Marshalltown; two daughters and a son-in-law, Lisa and Kevin Saucier of Cheyenne, Wyo. and Desiree Shaw of Marshalltown; a brother, Steven P. Wadsworth of Newton; and her mother of Newton.

She was preceded in death by her father and grandparents.

Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at the Wallace-Pence Funeral Home in Newton, with the Rev. David Raymond, pastor of the Congregational United Church of Christ, officiating.

Susan was buried in the Newton Union Cemetery in Jasper County.

susan-hagen-gravestoneCourtesy photo Richard Weston,
Susan Hagen is buried in the Newton Union Cemetery in Jasper County.
Information Needed

If you have any information regarding Susan Hagen’s unsolved murder, please contact the Des Moines Police Department Detective Bureau at 515-283-4864.

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15 Responses to Susan Hagen

  1. Lisa Hagen Saucier Carlson says:

    Your birthday was a couple days ago and you have been on my mind a lot. I am older now then the age you were when that man took your life. Your grandson that you wanted born on your birthday, however he couldn’t wait an extra day is 25 now, just celebrated his birthday the day before yours. I wish he could have gotten to know you, I have the one picture of you & him that I treasure. Your youngest daughter has grown into a beautiful woman and she is the best mother to your 2 youngest grandchildren. I wish you could have met them, they are so stinking cute! Your sons on the other hand could really use you to watch over them. I wish I could say they are doing as well. Help them as much as you can.

    Love you

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Lisa, what a beautiful tribute to your mom for what would have been her 68th birthday. It’s always so nice to hear from a victim’s family member and learn how his or her children and grandchildren went on to build lives while never forgetting the one who set them on that path. Thank you so much for sharing this with us and our readers. Your mom would be so proud.

      Jody @ ICC

  2. anonymous angel says:

    I have a feeling that the Susan Hagen homicide and Ky Van Luong homicide are related. On the surface it would not appear they are related due to the age difference and different backgrounds, but not everyone knows what goes on in peoples private lives. There are several women who are on this site that were murdered or missing and drugs and prostitution may have played a role. People may not think Susan used drugs or was into prostitution, but something tells me drugs. At that particular point in time, the Asians were big in the “underworld.” I think Susan knew Ky and he was the one that killed her. I believe someone who knew the both of them did their own justice by killing Ky for what he did & how perfect for him to be found and discovered the same place Susan was found two days later. Maybe I’ve watched too many crime shows, but that is what I think happened based on my education & experience in the “underworld.”

  3. Susy Riley says:

    Janet Sue Stier, this gal was from newton the article says, went to school there too, she was found in des moines,

  4. Lacey Seavey says:

    Love you ❤ she’s not forgotten.

  5. I can not remember the name of the murderer of the lady they found at a north Des Moines baseball field along interstate 80-35, or the time frame. But she was also a victim who was burned. These are all such sad and horrible cases. I pray they solve these for the family members who are left with so many questions.

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