Johnson County in Iowa

Johnson County in Iowa

Cold Cases in Johnson County, Iowa

 

  • Note: These are cold cases that exist in Johnson County, though many are under a city police department’s jurisdiction. They are listed here for cross-reference purposes because they are within Johnson County.

 

Edward Leeney

Officer Edward Leeney

Patrolman Edward M. Leeney
32 YOA
Iowa City Police Department
Iowa City, IA
Johnson County
April 29, 1926

On April 29, 1926, Iowa City Motorcycle Officer Edward M. Leeney — married and a father of three young children — was killed in a streetcar collision while in pursuit of a fleeing Ford coupe.

 

 

Edward Kriz

Homicide
Edward J. Kriz
43 YOA
Hamburg Inn No. 2
214 North Linn St.
Iowa City, IA
Johnson County
November 10, 1962

Edward Kriz, 43, was shot outside the Hamburg Inn No. 2 in Iowa City during a robbery there on November 10, 1962.

 

 

Ronald Lipsius

Homicide
Ronald F. Lipsius
30 YOA
812 South Summit Street
Iowa City, IA
Johnson County
May 16, 1966

Ronald F. Lipsius, a 30-year-old Iowa City grocer, was shot to death on Monday, May 16, 1966 as he chased a woman bandit who’d just scooped $35 from a cash register in his 812 South Summit Street store.

 

Sarah Ann Ottens

Sarah Ottens

Homicide
Sarah Ann Ottens
20 YOA
Rienow Hall
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
Johnson County
Case # 73-00179
March 13, 1973

On March 13, 1973, Sarah Ann Ottens was murdered in Rienow Hall at the University of Iowa.

 

Karen Christensen

Karen Christensen

Larry Wells

Larry Wells

Double Homicide
Karen Ann Christensen, 27, and
Larry Gordon Wells, 25
Near Coralville Reservoir
Coralville, IA
Johnson County
August 26, 1975

On Labor Day, September 1, 1975, two young motorcyclists discovered the charred bodies of two persons inside a scorched pickup truck near the Coralville Reservoir in Johnson County. The victims were identified as Karen Ann Christensen, 27, of Cedar Rapids, and her cousin Larry Gordon Wells, 25, of Marathon.

 

Jane Wakefield

Jane Wakefield

Missing Person (Presumed Homicide)
Jane Wakefield
Age at Report: 26
DOB: November 19, 1948
NCIC Number: M-703329643
Missing From: Iowa City, IA
Missing Since: September 6, 1975

Jane Wakefield — a teacher at Penn Elementary School in North Liberty, Iowa — was reported missing to the Iowa City Police Department on Monday, September 8, 1975, after failing to show up for work. Wakefield separated from her husband, John A. Wakefield, in 1975, and had filed for divorce six months prior to her disappearance. One informant told police Wakefield had been murdered and her body cremated and scattered along Interstate 80.

 

Charles Elmquist

Charles Elmquist

Missing Person
Charles Elmquist
DOB: 05/03/1945
Missing From: Iowa City, IA
Johnson County
Missing Since: November 16, 1979

Charles Elmquist went missing on November 16, 1979. His 1961 blue GMC van was located on November 17, 1979, parked in the University of Iowa Hydraulics Laboratory storage lot.

 

 

Lance DeWoody

Lance DeWoody

Homicide – Arrest Made, Charges Later Dropped
Lance Lee DeWoody
22 YOA
Coralville, IA
Johnson County
Case # 85-04249
August 12, 1985

Lance Lee DeWoody, 22, of North Liberty, Iowa, was shot in the head and neck at a picnic shelter on the north side of the University of Iowa’s Oakdale campus in Coralville sometime between late Monday night, August 12, 1985, and early Tuesday morning. Thirty years later on March 24, 2016, officials arrested Anthony Burtch, 57, of Iowa City, and charged him with first-degree murder in DeWoody’s death. Burtch later made a plea deal with prosecutors, agreeing to a plea of obstruction, an aggravated misdemeanor. Under the agreement, the first-degree murder and weapons charges were dropped and Burtch received credit for six months already served.

 

Baby feet

Unidentified White Male Infant

Homicide
Unidentified Newborn Baby John Doe
Found in Iowa City Landfill
Iowa City, IA
Johnson County
December 21, 1992

Four days before Christmas in 1992, a worker from a Kalona sanitation firm found a naked newborn baby boy’s body in a pile of trash at the Iowa City Landfill. The caucasian infant weighed 9 pounds and 3 ounces, and had just been dumped there around noon with the refuse picked up earlier from surrounding communities.

 

Susan Kersten

Susan Kersten

Homicide – Arrest Made, Suspect Entered Alford Plea
Susan Pearl Kersten
38 YOA
Iowa City, Iowa
Johnson County
Case # 95-11388
September 24, 1995

On Sept. 24, 1995, Susan Kersten’s body was found in a burning vehicle in a farm field off Highway 923 about one mile south of the Regency Mobile Home Village in rural Iowa City where Kersten lived in Lot 130. The coroner determined she died from blows to the head before the car was set afire. Nearly 20 years later, her former boyfriend, Steven J. Klein, 54, was arrested in Muscatine and charged with first-degree murder. On Feb. 17, 2017, Klein entered an Alford plea and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

 

Donna Lee Marshall

Donna Marshall

Homicide
Donna Lee Marshall
37 YOA
Iowa City, IA
Johnson County
Case # 96-00444
January 8, 1996

On January 8, 1996, Donna Lee Marshall, 37, was found by her fiancé and daughter in her southeast side Iowa City mobile home with a gunshot wound to the head. She died the next day.

 

Laura Van Wyhe

Laura Van Wyhe

Homicide:
Laura Van Wyhe
21 YOA
From Iowa City, IA
Johnson County
Found along NE Missouri highway
October 26, 1996

On Oct. 26, 1996, a truck driver discovered Laura Van Wyhe, 21, alive but incoherent, alongside Highway 136 near Kahoka, Missouri. Van Wyhe died three hours later in a Quincy, Illinois, hospital.

 

Frances Bloomfield

Frances Bloomfield

Homicide
Frances BloomfieldClosed/Cleared by Arrest and Exceptional Means
57 YOA
38 Wakefield Ct.
Iowa City, IA
Johnson County
September 20, 1997

Frances Bloomfield was reported missing on September 22, 1997, by her husband, John, who had returned from a business conference in France. Mrs. Bloomfield’s body was found three days later, bound with pantyhose and wrapped in plastic bound with duct tape, in a ditch along a highway about a half-mile south of Rockford, Illinois. She had been strangled. Investigators believe she’d been killed in her home on or around Sept. 20. John Bloomfield was arrested in November 2013 and charged with first-degree murder in his wife’s death. He died Nov. 6, 2014 while awaiting trial.

Copyright © 2017 Iowa Cold Cases, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Share Your Thoughts