Jones County

Jones County in Iowa

Anamosa in Jones County Iowa

Anamosa in Jones County

Cold Cases in Anamosa, Iowa





This page is dedicated to lifelong Anamosa resident Neal Townsend, who was shot and killed two months after taking a police officer position with the Lava Hot Springs Police Department in Bannock County, Idaho.


Neal Townsend

Neal Townsend

Neal Robert Townsend
29 years old
Lifelong Anamosa, Iowa, resident
Died at Alola Apartments
Lava Hot Springs, ID
Bannock County
Tuesday, Sept. 2, 1975

Neal Townsend, a lifelong Anamosa, Iowa resident who served as an industrial counselor for the Citizen’s Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, left Iowa and went to work as a police officer for the Lava Hot Springs Police Department in Bannock County, Idaho, in July 1975.

Two months after his arrival in Idaho — and after discovering local law enforcement’s involvement in illegal drug activity — Townsend died in his apartment from a .38 caliber gunshot wound to the stomach. Bannock County and Lava Hot Springs officials quickly ruled the death a suicide and, ignoring evidentiary protocol in suspicious deaths, neither requested nor had an autopsy performed. Though his death was ruled a suicide (which entitles next-of-kin access to investigative files and official documents), Neal’s wife fought, unsuccessfully, for answers all the way from local officials to the state, the Governor, the Department of Justice, the FBI and President Bill Clinton.

The Lava Hot Springs police chief and other sworn officers were fired not long after Neal’s death.

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