Cold Case Arrests and Pending Trials

Arrests have been made in the following cases and are making their way through Iowa's judicial system.

NOTE: We make every effort to keep this list current, but trials are often continued for a number of reasons. If you’re aware of changes in a trial date, please email us at Thank you in advance.

Shanna Goylar, 41, of Persia, Iowa, was arrested Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, and charged with first-degree murder in the Nov. 13, 2012 disappearance of 37-year-old Cari Lea Farver of Macedonia, Iowa. In February 2016, Pottawattamie County detectives asked the Omaha Police Department’s Cold Case Unit to assist in the investigation, which resulted in Goylar’s arrest. No trial date has been set.

Tait Otis Purk, 50, was charged with Murder in the First Degree on Dec. 9, 2016, after a grand jury returned a True Bill indictment for his role in the death of Cora Ann Okonski, 23, who went missing from Tama, Iowa, April 16, 2000, and whose remains have yet to be found. In March of 2015, the investigation into Okonski’s disappearance was reopened by the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). If convicted, Purk faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole. No trial date has been set.

Susan Kersten’s former boyfriend, Steven J. Klein (now 56), was arrested in Muscatine on Friday, July 17, 2015, and charged with first-degree murder in Kersten’s nearly 20-year-old unsolved homicide. His trial, originally set to begin in April 2016, was postponed until July 25, 2016, and then postponed until spring 2017. His pre-trial conference is scheduled for March 10, 2017, at 1:30 p.m., and his first-degree murder trial scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. March 27, 2017.

Christopher Joseph Yenger, 28, of Ottumwa, and Zachary Allen Dye, 27, of Council Bluffs, were charged with two counts of felony murder on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, in the March 5, 2006 double homicide of 20-year-old Nathan Messer and 22-year-old Seth Anderson, both who perished after an arson fire set at a rural Wapello County home after a party. A plea hearing is scheduled for Jan. 30 for Zachary Dye..

Anthony Burtch, 57, of Iowa City was arrested March 24, 2016 and charged with Murder in the First Degree in Lance Lee DeWoody’s 30-year-old unsolved murder. Burtch is being held at the Johnson County Jail on $1 million cash or surety bond. Trial date unknown.

Share Your Thoughts