The cases listed below represent Iowa cold cases where arrests have been made since we first began tracking the state’s unsolved cases in December 2005. It includes cases where suspects have been convicted or acquitted, cases solved by exceptional means, and cases currently making their way through the criminal justice system.

This page is dedicated to the many past and present investigators who never gave up on seeing justice served for the victim and his or her family.

Donald E. Preston

Donald Preston

51 YOA
Fort Dodge, IA
Webster County
December 26, 2016
Arrest Made: Feb. 3, 2023
Charged: Christopher Johnson, 49, of Cedar Rapids

Christopher Todd Johnson, 49, of Cedar Rapids, was arrested on Feb. 2, 2023, and charged with first-degree murder in the 2016 murder of Donald E. Preston.

In December 2016, Preston was found shot to death in a field near Johnson Avenue and 225th Street.

Investigators say Johnson and Preston were together in Johnson’s Toyota Corolla on the day of Preston’s death. Johnson allegedly drove Preston around on gravel roads in rural Webster County before shooting and killing him.

An autopsy showed Preston died of gunshot wounds to the head and abdomen.

Johnson was arrested in Cedar Rapids after being released from the Federal Bureau of Prisons after serving about five years for possessing a firearm as a prohibited person. He pleaded guilty to that charge in 2018.

Johnson was taken to the Webster County Jail on a $1 million cash bond.

Lee Rotatori’s graduation photo. (Courtesy Council Bluffs Police via Greg Gunsalus)

Lee Rotatori

32 YOA
Best Western Frontier Motor Lodge
2216 27th Avenue, Rm #106
Council Bluffs, IA
Pottawattamie County
Case Number: F82-2558
June 25, 1982
Case Cleared: Feb. 25, 2022
Perpetrator: Thomas O. Freeman of West Frankfort, Ill.
Freeman was killed four months after authorities alleged he killed Rotatori.
His case remains unsolved.

Council Bluffs Police officers were sent to investigate the death of a female at the Best Western Frontier Motor Lodge motel at 2216 27th Avenue in Council Bluffs, Iowa, at 12:27 p.m. Friday, June 25, 1982, after a motel employee found a body.

Police found the victim in Room 106 — clad in pajamas and lying on her back in a pool of blood on the bed’s right side — and identified her as Lee Rotatori, 32, of Nunica, Michigan. There were no signs of forced entry or a struggle.

Rotatori had lived at the motel for about a week while in training for her new job as food service director at Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs.

Thomas O. Freeman, who authorities allege killed Rotatori, was found buried in a shallow grave four months after Rotatori’s murder. (Courtesy Council Bluffs Police Department)

On Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, Council Bluffs Police Captain Todd Weddum announced in a press release that police detectives had cleared the case after nearly four decades. Detectives used genetic genealogy to tie Thomas O. Freeman to DNA found on Rotatori’s body.

In April 2019, Council Bluffs investigators submitted the unknown male DNA profile to Parabon Nanolabs to begin a genetic genealogy case. In February 2021, researchers from Parabon and ES Genealogy, who examined familial relationships, concluded that Thomas O. Freeman, of West Frankfort, Illinois, was the source of the suspect DNA.

A sample of Freeman’s daughter’s DNA was subsequently analyzed by the Iowa DCI Lab, which confirmed that there was a parent/child relationship between the DNA found at the scene of Rotatori’s murder and Freeman’s daughter.

Freeman, 35, was found buried in a shallow grave near Cobden, Ill., in October 1982 — just four months after authorities allege he killed Rotatori. No one has ever been arrested for his murder.

Stanley Golinsky

Stanley Golinsky

56 YOA
SW 1st and Vine St.
Des Moines, IA
Polk County
Investigating Agency: Des Moines Police Department
Case Number: 12-33587
Killed: October 24, 2012
Case Solved: On Oct. 26, 2021, Des Moines police announced they had charged William “Billy” Rulli, 35, with first-degree murder
Sentencing: On Feb. 22, 2023, William Rulli was sentenced to 50 years in prison after confessing to Golinksky’s murder

Stanley “Mike” Golinsky, 56, of Des Moines, was found dead under a downtown railroad bridge on the Des Moines River on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012.

A 911 phone call placed at 4:08 p.m. led Des Moines police officers to the Principal Park area near Vine and Southwest First streets, where they located a body beneath the railroad bridge near a bike trail on the Des Moines River’s west bank.

After nine years, Des Moines police announced on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, that they’d made an arrest in Stanley Golinksky’s brutal murder.

William Rulli (Courtesy Des Moines Police)

According to a statement Des Moines police posted to Facebook Tuesday, William “Billy” Rulli, 35, who currently is serving time in a state penitentiary for first-degree burglary, has confessed to the murder.

At first, detectives weren’t sure if Golinsky was killed or whether he had perhaps died by suicide or accident, Law & Crime reported Oct. 26. They soon determined that Golinsky’s death was a homicide based on his injuries, Des Moines CBS affiliate KCCI reported at the time. Police suspected Rulli was the killer early in the investigation but didn’t have enough to move forward with an arrest.

Maureen Farley

Maureen Brubaker Farley

17 YOA
Ely Road SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Approx. Date of Death: Sept. 21, 1971
Investigating Agency: Cedar Rapids PD Cold Case Unit
Case Closed/Solved: On Oct. 5, 2021, police announced DNA had helped identify her killer, George M. Smith, who died in 2013

George M. Smith

On Friday, September 24, 1971, two young boys out hunting discovered a woman’s body atop the trunk lid of an abandoned car in a wooded ravine off Ely Road near Cedar Rapids’ southwest edge. The victim was 17-year-old Maureen Brubaker Farley, a newly married woman not much older than the boys who found her.

The Linn County medical examiner ruled Farley had been dead no less than 48 hours and no more than 96 hours, and said death was caused by a “massive blow” to the right side of her head, causing a basal skull fracture.

Through investigation and DNA technology, the Cedar Rapids Police Department Cold Case Unit identified and confirmed on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, George M. Smith as the suspect in the homicide case. The case was closed without prosecution because Smith died in 2013 at the age of 94, police said.

Dexter Meeks

Dexter “Big Ham” Meeks

Dexter Meeks

22 YOA
211 15th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Killed: June 26, 2011
Investigating Agency: Cedar Rapids Police Department
Arrest Made: Feb. 25, 2021, Mykel Roberts, 29, from Modesto, Calif., charged in Meeks’ death

Dexter Lashun Meeks, 22, known to his friends as “Big Ham,” was shot in the early morning hours on Sunday, June 26, 2011, near the front door of his apartment building at 211 15th St. SE in Cedar Rapids.

Mykel Allan Roberts

Almost a decade later, Mykel Roberts, 29, of Modesto, Calif., confessed to killing Meeks. His initial target was Meeks’ brother, Andrew, who was shot and killed in a separate incident in 2017.

In March 2020, CRPD said the Cold Case Unit was contacted by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department to say Roberts, who was being held in Wasco State Prison, seemed to be attempting to confess to a murder in Cedar Rapids in 2011.

Two Cedar Rapids investigators ended up traveling to Modesto, California to speak with Roberts in person on April 28, 2020. That’s where they say they were able to get a complete and detailed confession from Roberts about the murder of Dexter Meeks.

Roberts made his first court appearance in Linn County District Court on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, where he was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, and going armed with intent.

He is currently being held in the Linn County Jail on a $3M bond.

Kaiden Estling

Kaiden Estling

Kaiden Estling

14 YOA
Hit-and-Run Homicide
Highway 150 near 118th St.
From: Maynard, Iowa
Killed Near: Fayette, Iowa
Fayette County
Killed: June 28, 2018
Investigating Agency: Fayette County Sheriff’s Office
Arrest Made: June 26, 2020

Kelli Jo Michael (Courtesy KWWL)

Nearly 2 years to the day that a teen was killed while driving his moped south of Fayette, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office announced an arrest in the case.

The sheriff’s office arrested and charged Kelli Jo Michael, 26, of Des Moines on Friday, June 26, 2020, in the death of Kaiden Estling. Michael is charged with homicide by vehicle-reckless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident – death.

Estling, 14, of Maynard was driving a moped south along Highway 150 on June 28, 2018, when he was hit by a vehicle. It happened about 2-1/2 miles south of Fayette.

The driver of the vehicle fled the scene and, after multiple life-saving attempts, Estling was pronounced dead at the scene. Michael is being held in the Fayette County Jail on a $50,000.00 cash-only bond.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Des Moines Police Department in the investigation.

Bonnie Callahan

Bonnie Jean Callahan

73 YOA
111 S. Second St., Apt. 10
Mississippi Terrance
Keokuk, IA
Lee County
Case #: 04SME155
Crime Date: June 15, 2004
Arrest Made: May 5, 2020
Charged: Nathanial Leo Ridnour, 34

Bonnie Jean Callahan, 73, of 111 S. Second St., Apt. 10, Mississippi Terrace in Keokuk, was last seen alive at 10:30 p.m. Monday, June 14, 2004. A fisherman discovered her body Tuesday afternoon in the Mississippi River, floating in a small cove near the Southside Boat Club.

According to an email Callahan’s granddaughter, Trish Hall, sent to Iowa Cold Cases on Jan. 12, 2014, her grandmother was bludgeoned and placed in the river. “She was a lively lady who just had knee surgery and took her dog with her everywhere,” Hall said of her grandmother. “There is no way she left her dog at home and walked the half mile to the river without her shoes or other personal items (teeth, jacket, etc.).”

Nathanial Ridnour

In a press release dated Tuesday, May 5, 2020, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) announced the arrest of Nathanial Leo Ridnour, 34, who was charged with Murder in the First Degree.

The investigation revealed Ridnour was pursuing a relationship with Callahan’s 15-year-old granddaughter, which Callahan didn’t agree with. During the initial investigation, the affidavit indicates Ridnour gave inconsistent accounts about his location at the time Callahan went missing, and about his relationship with her granddaughter.

Ridnour is also listed on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry for a 2013 conviction of disseminating obscene materials to a female aged 13 or under.

Brian Schappert

Brian Lee Schappert

Brian Lee Schappert

22 YOA
Kim & Go Convenience Store
2743 Mount Vernon Rd. SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Linn County
Case Number: 92-08179
Killed September 8, 1989
Case Closed: September 6, 2019

Brian Lee Schappert, a 22-year-old Coe College senior, was killed during a robbery in the early morning hours on Friday, Sept. 8, 1989, while working the midnight shift alone at a Cedar Rapids Kum & Go convenience store. Schappert’s throat was slashed and he also sustained multiple stab wounds to his back.

Nearly 30 years to the date, Cedar Rapids police announced they were closing the case. Instead of pointing to one or more individuals as the definite killers, authorities were able to narrow the suspect pool to two men they are only confident committed the slaying, Cedar Rapids police Investigator Matt Denlinger told The Gazette. And they are dead, he said, never to face criminal charges.

‘We’ve done all we can do on this case,” he said. ‘We’ve really put our best effort into reaching a conclusion and helping the family get some answers, and this is as close as we are able to come.”

Both the suspected killers were living in Cedar Rapids at the time Brian was slain while working at a Kum & Go on Mount Vernon Road SE, Denlinger said.

One man was in his 50s and the other was maybe in his 30s, and investigators believe the two men worked together to kill Brian and rob the store, the Gazette reported.

Denlinger declined to release their names.

Though investigators are nearly certain about the two men’s involvement, there is not enough evidence against them to say for sure.

‘I’m quite pleased with the work that we’ve done … and I’m excited that I get to tell his parents while they are still alive that we’ve come to a conclusion,” he said. ‘I hope that it gives them a little peace. And I’m quite happy to say that 30 years after the fact, we did not give up and we did not settle on suspects that were frankly not the right guys.”

James Booher

James Booher

James Allan “Jim Bob” Booher

51 YOA
Residence: Marion, Iowa
Agency: Marion Police Department
Case Number: 14011355
Reported Missing: June 3, 2014
Last Seen Alive: May 31, 2014
Three Indictments Made: May 22, 2019

On May 22, 2019, three people were indicted on multiple federal charges in connection to an unsolved crime from 2014 that resulted in the death of James Booher.

Three indicted in James Booher murder


Matthew Barrett Robbins, 46, William Leo Yancey, 43, and Danielle Lynn Busch, 29, were charged with robbery affecting interstate commerce, conspiracy to commit robbery affecting interstate commerce, and using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in murder. The charges were filed in federal court for the Northern District of Iowa and unsealed on Wednesday.

The indictment alleges that, on or around May 31, 2014, the three persons named conspired to, and then did, rob Booher of methamphetamine that he possessed and the proceeds from the sale of meth. Prosecutors said they did so through means of actual and threatened force.

The filing said that the three did reveal and discharge a firearm while committing the robbery, leading to the death of Booher.

In September 2021, two of the three suspects were sentenced to decades in prison.

Danielle Busch, 31, of Cedar Rapids, and William Leo Yancey, 46, also of Cedar Rapids, will serve 10 and 30 years in prison, respectively. Busch pleaded guilty in April to Conspiracy to Commit Robbery Affecting Interstate Commerce and Discharging a Firearm During a Crime of Violence Resulting in Murder in connection to the death of James Booher, a known drug dealer, in 2014. Yancey pleaded guilty in May to the same charges.

In May 2021, Matthew Robbins, 49, was sentenced to life in prison.

Michelle Martinko

Michelle Martinko

Michelle Marie Martinko

18 YOA
Westdale Mall
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Linn County
Case # 85-06117
Crime Date: December 19, 1979
Arrest Date: December 19, 2018
Trial Began in Scott County: February 10, 2020
Guilty Verdict Reached: February 24, 2020
Sentencing: August 7, 2020, sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole

Jerry Lynn Burns

Jerry Lynn Burns

On Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018 — the 39th anniversary of Michelle Martinko’s brutal murder — Cedar Rapids police announced they’d made an arrest in her unsolved homicide.

Police arrested Jerry Lynn Burns, 64, on Wednesday morning, Dec. 19, 2018, in the decades-old fatal stabbing. Burns, who was 25 when Martinko died, made his first court appearance on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, in Linn County.

In a statement announcing the arrest, police said Burns was questioned at his job Wednesday, Dec. 19, in Manchester and that he denied killing Martinko. He could not offer a “plausible explanation” for why his DNA was found at the crime scene, authorities said.

Burns made his first court appearance Thursday morning, Dec. 20, 2018, in Linn County.

His first-degree murder trial was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Oct. 14, 2019, at the Linn County Courthouse. A Gazette story published Sept. 16, 2019, said the trial for Burns will likely be postponed because the defense may need additional technical information and expert witnesses to prepare for the trial.

A Des Moines Register story published Oct. 14, 2019, said a jury won’t gather to determine Burns’ fate until Feb. 10, 2020, if not later.

On Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, a judge agreed to relocate the trial to Scott County, stating in a filing that pretrial publicity made it unlikely Burns could receive a fair trial in Linn County. The trial began Feb. 10, 2020, and on Feb. 24, the Scott County jury of seven women and five men returned a guilty verdict after deliberating just shy of three hours.

Sentencing was originally scheduled for April 17, 2020, but the coronavirus led Iowa’s court system to delay criminal court proceedings; the date was pushed back the first time to June 19. Assistant Linn County Attorney Nicholas Maybanks said it was then delayed a second time until August 7, 2020.

Corey Wieneke

Corey Wieneke

Corey Lee Wieneke — SOLVED?

22 YOA
Route 1
West Liberty, Iowa
Muscatine County
Case # 92-08083
Crime Date: October 13, 1992
Arrest Date: May 31, 2018
Trial Date: March 4, 2019
Mistrial Declared: March 12, 2019
Second Trial: Sept. 9, 2019 in Muscatine
Verdict: Reached Sept. 19, 2019 — Annette Cahill found Guilty of second-degree murder

Annette Cahill

Annette Cahill

Corey Wieneke, 22, was found bludgeoned to death in his rural West Liberty home on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 1992. Wieneke’s fiancée, Jody Hotz, also of West Liberty, last saw him alive around 8:15 a.m. that morning and discovered his beaten body in his bedroom at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

On Thursday, May 31, 2018, Annette Dee Cahill, 55, of Tipton, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in Wieneke’s killing. Why?

Twenty-five years after Corey’s murder, Jessie Becker, who’d been 9 years old at the time of the crime, went to authorities and said she’d overheard Annette talking to herself in another room and saying how sorry she was for his murder. Annette’s niece was with Jessie at the time, though the niece recalls never hearing any such thing. Before going to authorities 25 years after the crime, Jessie’s mother and stepfather split up; Jessie blamed Annette for the breakup.

Jessie told another person that Annette knew Corey had been killed with a baseball bat “before that information became public knowledge.” Investigators later issued a public statement admitting that the leaked comment [by Jessie] about the bat was untrue. The state admitted there was no physical evidence linking Cahill to the crime — no fingerprints, no blood, no DNA — nothing but the words of a then-9-year-old who claimed she’d heard Annette “confessing” [to herself] in another room.

Annette’s first trial in Muscatine ended in a hung jury. On Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, the jury foreperson in the second trial told presiding judge Patrick McElyea that more time deliberating would not yield a verdict. McElyea ordered them to resume deliberations. The following day, on Sept. 19, 2019, the jurors found Cahill guilty of second-degree murder in Wieneke’s death.

Larry Murillo (Courtesy Council Bluffs Police Dept.)

Larry Ely Murillo Moncada

Aka: Marlon Murillo
Age at Report: 25 YOA
DOB: Aug. 22, 1984
Went Missing From 719 N. 14th St.
Council Bluffs, IA
Pottawattamie County
Agency: Council Bluffs Police Department
Incident Type: Endangered / Missing
Case # 09-039818
Last Seen Alive: November 28, 2009
Remains Found: January 24, 2019 at
No Frills Supermarket in Council Bluffs
Remains Positively Identified: July 22, 2019
Case Ruling: Accidental

Larry Murillo, a 25-year-old employee of the No Frills Supermarket in Council Bluffs, Iowa, fled from his Council Bluffs home on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009, after beginning a new regimen of anti-depressants and having hallucinations. Despite the cold weather, he left the house with no shoes or coat, wearing only blue jeans and a blue long-sleeve shirt. His mother reported him missing to the Council Bluffs Police Department later that night.

Officers contacted family members, other law enforcement agencies, nearby detention centers, and even the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency — he had been deported to Honduras before making his way back to the United States — but received no information regarding his possible whereabouts, CNN reported July 22, 2019.

On January 24, 2019, workers removing shelves and coolers from the former No Frills Supermarket discovered a body behind one of them.

Investigators believe Murillo-Moncada went to the supermarket and climbed on top of the coolers. The space was used as storage for merchandise, Council Bluffs Police Capt. Todd Weddum said, and employees would sometimes go there to hide when they wanted to take an unofficial break. Murillo-Moncada was thought to have fallen into the 18-inch gap between the back of the cooler and a wall, where he became trapped. Noise from the coolers’ compressors may have concealed any attempts to call for help, according to Weddum.

Investigators used his parents’ DNA to confirm the identity, which was positively identified on July 22, 2019. The clothes matched the description of Murillo’s attire at the time he was reported missing, Weddum said. An autopsy found no signs of trauma, and the case has been ruled an accidental death.

James Remakel

James “Jim” Remakel

James Michael Remakel

59 YOA
606 South Riverview Drive
Bellevue, Iowa
Jackson County
Crime Date: December 25, 2016
Arrest Made: May 18, 2018
Trial Began: Feb. 4, 2019
Guilty Verdict: Feb. 13, 2019 (second-degree murder)
Sentencing: March 22, 2019

James “Jim” Remakel, 59, was stabbed to death inside his 606 South Riverview Street home in Bellevue, Iowa, on Sunday, December 25, 2016. Bellevue police said officers were summoned to the house about 1 p.m. Sunday, where they found Remakel deceased inside the residence. Bellevue Police requested assistance from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) with the suspicious death investigation.

Autopsy results showed Remakel sustained multiple sharp force wounds throughout his upper torso, neck, face, and head area, which led to his death. The death was ruled a homicide.

Drew Mangler

Drew Mangler

As the investigation unfolded, Drew Alan Mangler (23 yrs. old) of Dubuque, Iowa, became a suspect and an arrest warrant was issued on May 17, 2018. On Friday, May 18, 2018, authorities took Mangler into custody without incident. Mangler has been charged with Murder in the First Degree in violation of Iowa Criminal Code Sections 707.1 and 707.2(1). He is currently being housed in the Jackson County Jail. A First Degree Murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

The multi-jurisdictional investigation included the Bellevue Police Department, Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Investigation, Division of Criminal Investigation Criminalistics’ Laboratory, Dubuque Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Attorney’s Office, and the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.

On Feb. 13, 2019, a Jackson County jury found Mangler, 24, guilty of second-degree murder in Remakel’s death. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 22, 2019. 

Elizabeth Syperda

Elizabeth Forshee-Syperda

Elizabeth Nicole Forshee-Syperda

22 YOA
Went Missing From: Mount Pleasant, Iowa, on July 16, 2000
Henry County
Estranged Husband, Michael Syperda, was arrested and charged Nov. 30, 2017, with first-degree murder
Bench Trial Began: May 1, 2018
Closing Arguments Held: May 7, 2018
Michael Syperda Found Guilty: June 25, 2018
Sentencing: August 23, 2018, sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole

Michael Lee Syperda

Michael Lee Syperda (Courtesy Quad-City Times)

Elizabeth Syperda was last seen by her roommate at their East Madison Street apartment in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 16, 2000, when the roommate left to go to work. When the roommate returned at 4 a.m. the following morning, Elizabeth was gone, though she did not have access to a car and all her personal belongings were left behind.

One month before Syperda vanished, her estranged husband, Michael Lee Syperda, had been arrested for assaulting both his wife and her roommate. The court immediately put a protection order in place.

More than 17 years after Liz Syperda went missing, her estranged husband, Michael Lee Syperda, 52, was arrested Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, in Rifle, Colorado, near Glenwood Springs, and charged with first-degree murder in his wife’s death, despite his wife’s body never being found. Mr. Syperda waived his right to a jury trial, and his bench trial began May 1, 2018, with closing arguments held May 7, 2018, and a ruling expected June 25, 2018.

On June 25, 2018, Henry County District Court Judge Mark Kruse announced Michael Syperda was guilty of first-degree murder in Elizabeth Syperda’s death. Mr. Syperda was sentenced on August 23, 2018, to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Cari Farver

Cari Farver

Cari Lea Farver

37 YOA
Home Residence: Macedonia, Iowa
Went Missing From: Pottawattamie County
Last Seen Alive Nov. 13, 2012, in Omaha, Neb.
Case Number: S12-021291
Arrest Made: Dec. 22, 2016
Trial Began: May 10, 2017
Guilty Verdict: May 24, 2017

Cari Lea Farver, 37, of Macedonia, Iowa, was last seen alive in Omaha on the morning of Nov. 13, 2012. Her mother, Nancy Raney of Carson, Iowa, reported her as missing to the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Nov. 16, 2012. Officials found Farver’s vehicle in Omaha on Jan. 10, 2013.

Shanna Golyar

Shanna Golyar

The case went cold, but in February 2016, Pottawattamie County detectives asked the Omaha police cold case unit to assist in the investigation. On Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, Omaha police announced they’d arrested 41-year-old Shanna Goylar at her home in Persia, Iowa, and charged her with first-degree murder in Cari Farver’s death. Persia is located about 35 miles northeast of Omaha.

Police believe the slaying took place Nov. 13 or 14, 2012, in west Omaha, according to a police report.

Golyar went on trial before Douglas County (NE) District Judge Timothy Burns on May 10, 2017. Golyar chose a bench trial over a jury trial.

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Judge Burns found Golyar guilty of first-degree murder and second-degree arson in Farver’s death. Golyar will be sentenced to life in prison in August 2017.

Cora Ann Okonski

Cora Ann Okonski

Cora Ann Okonski

23 YOA
Tama, Iowa
Tama County
Date of Crime: April 16, 2000
Arrest Made: December 9, 2016
Tait Purk Convicted of First-Degree Murder: May 10, 2017

Cora Ann Okonski, a 23-year-old young mother engaged to be married the following month, went missing from her Tama, Iowa, home around 9 p.m. on Palm Sunday, April 16, 2000. Tait Otis Purk, 33 — Okonski’s live-in companion and the man she planned to marry — told police she left that night to go to the store to buy cigarettes but never returned. He said he’d stayed home to care for Okonski’s 2-year-old son, Austin, and that he’d last seen his fiancée walking west on 5th Street in Tama.

Tait Otis Purk

Tait Otis Purk

In March of 2015, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) reopened Okonski’s case. Iowa DCI special agents with significant experience working cold cases, working in conjunction with the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, Tama County Sheriff’s Office, Tama Police Department, and Tama County Attorney’s Office concluded Okonski’s disappearance was not voluntary.

Through interviews and additional discoveries, the case was classified as a homicide investigation. Agents traveled extensively throughout the country conducting multiple interviews of key witnesses relevant to the investigation. Their findings were submitted to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office and the Tama County Attorney’s Office. Upon review of the report, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office and the Tama County Attorney’s office convened a grand jury to review evidence and testimony. A grand jury returned a True Bill indictment on Tait Otis Purk, 50, for the crime of Murder in the First Degree in violation of Section 707.2(1) of the Code of Iowa.

Purk’s murder trial, moved to Iowa County on a change of venue, began Monday, May 1, 2017. On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, jurors found Purk guilty of first-degree murder. On Aug. 14, 2017, the judge overturned the guilty verdict, and Purk went to trial for a second time on Nov. 6, 2017. On Dec. 8, Purk was found guilty of second-degree murder. On Feb. 1, 2018, he was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Tony "T-Bone" Canfield

Tony “T-Bone” Canfield

Tony Ray “T-Bone” Canfield

52 YOA
1401 George St.
Sioux City, Iowa
Woodbury County
Killed: Sunday, May 1, 2011
Arrests Made: June 10, 2016
Sentencings: Sept. 1, Sept. 7, 2016

At 11 p.m. Sunday, May 1, 2011, three men – Courtland Clark, 26, of Flowery Branch, Georgia, Robert Beaver, 35, of Sioux City, and Devery Hibbler, 26, of Dumas, Arkansas – entered the 1401 George St., Sioux City apartment belonging to Dana and Tony Canfield to rob Tony of his marijuana and cash.

Devery Hibbler

Devery Hibbler
Sentenced Sept. 1, 2016, to 35 years in prison.

Authorities said Beaver beat and held Canfield’s wife while Clark and Hibbler struggled and robbed Canfield. Canfield fought back and managed to escape by running out the front door. At this point, Hibbler then shot Canfield in the head on the front porch.

Robert Beaver

Robert Beaver
Sentenced Sept. 1, 2016, to 20 years in prison.

The three robbers fled the scene, and evaded capture for five years as the Sioux City Police Department, Woodbury County Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation worked together to build a solid case against all three men. Because his business was illegal and involved interstate commerce, Sioux City police and the Woodbury County Attorney’s Office referred the case to the United States Attorney’s Office, and federal prosecutors were able to claim jurisdiction in the case.

Courtland Clark

Courtland Clark
Sentenced Sept. 7, 2016, to 21 years in prison.

Sioux City police announced on Friday, June 10, 2016, that they’d arrested and charged all three men in Canfield’s homicide and that all three individuals entered guilty pleas.

Clark and Hibbler each pleaded guilty to one count of interference with commerce by robbery. Clark and Hibbler also pleaded guilty to one count of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death.

On Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, Hibbler was sentenced to serve 35 years in prison; Beaver was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison. Neither will have the possibility of parole or the right to appeal his conviction.

On Sept. 7, 2016, Courtland Clark was sentenced to 21 years in prison for his role in Tony Canfield’s death.

Lance DeWoody

Lance DeWoody

Lance Lee DeWoody — Plea Deal Reached

22 YOA
University of Iowa
Oakdale Campus
Coralville, IA
Johnson County
Date of Crime: August 12, 1985
Arrest Made: March 24, 2016
Murder Charges Dropped: Jan. 31, 2017

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.

Oakdale campus employees found DeWoody’s body shortly after sunrise Tuesday near the campus’ general hospital parking lot. He lay face up on the floor of an open-air park shelter, dressed in blue jeans, a blue jacket, and tennis shoes. His pickup was found parked about 70 yards away.

Anthony Burtch

Anthony Burtch

More than 30 years later, The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), in cooperation with the Coralville Police Department, arrested Anthony Burtch, 57, of Iowa City, on March 24, 2016, and charged him with Murder in the First Degree, a Class “A” Felony, in DeWoody’s slaying.

Throughout the investigation, it was determined that DeWoody was dating the wife of Burtch. DeWoody and Burtch’s wife spent the evening of August 12, 1985, together and then Burtch’s wife returned home to Burtch. Shortly after her return, Burtch left for approximately an hour and a half. Investigators believe that Burtch killed DeWoody during this time. Burtch was scheduled to face trial on Feb. 7, 2017, but in January 2017, he entered a guilty plea to obstructing prosecution, a misdemeanor, and the murder charges against him were dropped. On February 23, 2017, Burtch was sentenced to six months in jail with credit for time served.

Nathan Messer

Nathan Messer

Nathan Messer, 20
Seth Anderson, 22

Arson Investigation
11612 140th Street
Wapello County
Date of Crime: March 5, 2006
Arrests Made: March 24, 2016
[Yenger] Found Guilty: Feb. 14, 2017

At approximately 6:33 a.m. on March 5, 2006, a neighbor observed smoke and flames coming from the residence of 11612 140th Street. Wapello County Rural Fire and Rescue and the Hedrick Fire Department were called and responded to the scene.

Arriving emergency personnel found two individuals outside of the home. The residence was fully engulfed in flames and sustained major fire damage. Seth Anderson, 22, and Nathan Messer, 20, who were sleeping on the second floor of the home, never made it out and died from smoke inhalation.

Zachary Dye and Christopher Yenger (Courtesy

Zachary Dye and Christopher Yenger (Courtesy

The investigation in 2006 was closed and the fire was ruled undetermined. In January 2016, the case was reopened after information came to light that two individuals started the fire after a physical altercation at the residence shortly before the fire was discovered.

On January 25, 2016, Christopher Joseph Yenger, 28, of Ottumwa, and Zachary Allen Dye, 27, of Council Bluffs, were arrested and each charged with two counts of Felony Murder.

On Tuesday, February 14, 2017, Wapello County jurors found Christopher Yenger guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of Messer and Anderson. Zachary Dye, 28, accepted a deal with prosecutors and was convicted of aiding and abetting first-degree arson.

Susan Kersten

Susan Kersten

Susan Kersten

38 YOA
Iowa City, Iowa
Johnson County
Case Number: 95-11388
Date of Crime: September 24, 1995
Arrest Made: July 27, 2015
Alford Plea Entered: Feb. 17, 2017

Steven Klein

Steven Klein

Susan Kersten, a 38-year-old gifted artist and divorced mother of four — including 1-year-old twin daughters — was killed in Iowa City on Sunday, Sept. 24, 1995, sometime after returning home from a family reunion. She’d been beaten severely, put inside her vehicle, and the car then set afire after being rolled down an embankment.

Kersten’s former boyfriend, Steven J. Klein, was arrested in Muscatine on July 17, 2015, and charged with first-degree murder in the nearly 20-year-old unsolved homicide.

Kersten’s death came just three weeks before a scheduled child support hearing for the couple’s twins. On Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, Klein entered an Alford plea on charges of second-degree arson, willful injury causing serious injury, and suborning perjury in the death. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Robert "Bryan" McMahon

Robert “Bryan” McMahon

Robert Bryan McMahon

Former John Doe 2005
Approx. 40-45 YOA
Case Number: 05-43363
Body Found: 800 block W. Riverside Drive
Des Moines, IA
Polk County
Approx. Date of Death: Oct. 18, 2005
Body Found: Oct. 25, 2005
Body Identified: November 2014

On Oct. 25, 2005, the body of a white male was found floating in the Des Moines River near the west bank in the vicinity of the 800 block of W. Riverside Drive in Des Moines. The victim, believed to be somewhere between 40 and 45 years old, had brown hair with a goatee, was shirtless, wore size 36 tan shorts beneath size 38 blue trousers, and wore a yellow and white Relic brand watch.

In 2010, WHO-TV Channel 13’s Aaron Brilbeck ran a story about the case as part of an ongoing cold case series with Iowa Cold Cases. A woman thought she recognized the picture of the victim shown on TV as her ex-husband and called Des Moines police, but was incorrectly told the body was that of a Hispanic male.

Robert-Bryan-McMahon-family-WHOTVCourtesy photo WHO-TV Channel 13, Des Moines
The man known for nine years only as “John Doe 2005” has been identified as Robert “Bryan” McMahon.

WHO-TV eventually removed the story and video from its website, but the case summary and video remained on the Iowa Cold Cases site. In November 2014, the woman checked out the story again on the website and was sure the body belonged to her ex-husband, Robert Bryan McMahon. She contacted the medical examiner’s office, and Polk County Chief Medical Examiner Gregory Schmunk was able to positively identify the body as that of McMahon. The cremains were presented to McMahon’s ex-wife Nancy and family on Nov. 12, 2014, and Dr. Schmunk credited both WHO-TV and Iowa Cold Cases for helping to solve the case.

“It was absolutely crucial,” Dr. Schmunk told Channel 13’s Brilbeck. “Had you not done your work, and Iowa Cold Cases not put it out there, he would have been never identified.”

Holly Durben

Holly Durben

Holly Rae Durben

29 YOA
2492 Highway 59
Shenandoah, IA
Fremont County
Date of Crime: July 18, 2009
Arrest Made: Oct. 29, 2014
Conviction: Feb. 16, 2015

Brian Davis

Brian Davis

Holly Rae Durben, 29, was shot to death on Saturday, July 18, 2009, in the Shenandoah home she shared with her boyfriend, Brian Heath Davis. Davis told authorities Holly had committed suicide.

Brian Davis was arrested Oct. 29, 2014, and charged with first-degree murder in Holly’s death.

On Monday, Feb. 16, 2015, Fremont County District Court Judge Timothy O’Grady found Davis guilty of first-degree murder in Holly’s death.

Mark Koster

Mark Koster

Mark Edgar Koster

58 YOA
610 N. 5th Street
Sac City, IA
Sac County
Reported Missing: July 4, 2009
Declared Legally Dead: Oct. 10, 2011
Remains Found: Nov. 5, 2012
Suspect Arrested: March 25, 2014
Conviction Date: April 3, 2015

Mark Koster disappeared from Sac City, Iowa, sometime during the summer of 2009 and reported missing to the Sac City Police Department July 4, 2009. He’d been “last seen with a friend from Florida,” and a search warrant served on Koster’s house revealed all his clothes and possessions still in the home. His vehicle remained parked in the garage.

John David Green

John David Green

On Nov. 5, 2012, a new homeowner renovating Koster’s former Sac City home discovered human skeletal remains concealed in the basement and immediately notified Sac City police. Officials later identified the remains as Koster’s.

On March 25, 2014, officials with the Sac City Police Department and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation arrested 54-year-old John David Green in Orange Park, Florida, and charged him with first-degree murder in Koster’s death. On April 3, 2015, a Boone County, Iowa jury found Green guilty of second-degree murder in Koster’s death.

Nelson Alvarez-Hernandez

Nelson Alvarez-Hernandez

Nelson Alvarez Hernandez

33 YOA
1613 S. 13th St., Apt. 1
Council Bluffs, IA
Pottawattamie County
Case Number: 03-004354
Date of Crime: July 31, 2003
Arrest Made: March 4, 2014
Date of Conviction: July 1, 2014

In the early morning hours on July 31, 2003, Nelson “Selena” Alvarez-Hernandez, 33, was stabbed to death in front of an apartment building at 1613 So. 13th St. in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

James Harris

James Harris

Thomas J. Sanchez was arrested Jan. 23, 2014 after DNA evidence linked him to Alvarez-Hernandez’s murder, and on March 4, 2014, authorities also arrested 36-year-old James Cain Harris of Council Bluffs on suspicion of first-degree murder in the case.

Charges against Thomas Sanchez were dismissed June 24, 2014.

Harris was held at the Pottawattamie County Jail on a $1 million bond, and his trial began June 24, 2014. On July 1, 2014, jurors found Harris guilty of first-degree murder. On Aug. 20, 2014, Fourth District Judge Greg Steensland sentenced Harris to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Melisa Gregory

Melisa Gregory

Steven Fisher

Steven Fisher

Melisa Gregory, 17
Steven Fisher, 20

Copper Dollar Ranch
Newton, IA
Jasper County
Case # 83-1119
Date of Crime: March 3, 1983
Arrest Made: March 3, 2014
Verdict: Feb. 20, 2015 — Theresa Supino acquitted

Steven Fisher and girlfriend Melisa Gregory were found bludgeoned to death at the Copper Dollar Ranch northwest of Newton, Iowa, in Jasper County on March 3, 1983. The attack’s sheer brutality initially led police to believe the pair had been shot in their heads. It later was determined the two were bludgeoned to death.

Jasper County Attorney Steve Johnson acknowledged there was some known drug activity in the area, but said he personally believed the murders were “up close and personal.”

Terri Supino

Terri Supino

On Monday, March 3, 2014 — exactly 31 years to the day when Melisa and Steven’s bodies were found — the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference to announce they’d arrested Fisher’s estranged wife, Terri Supino and charged her with two counts of first-degree murder.

During a pretrial conference Wednesday morning, Aug. 27, 2014, Judge Terry Rickers said there would be “substantial prejudice” against 54-year-old Theresa Lynn “Terri” Supino if her trial were held in the Newton or Des Moines areas, and the trial was moved to Black Hawk County.

On Feb. 20, 2015, Black Hawk County jurors acquitted Supino in both counts of first-degree murder.

Jasper County Attorney Mike Jacobsen said his office would not have brought charges against Supino if they didn’t feel they could get a guilty verdict.

Jasper County Sheriff John Halferty said that while the case is now considered closed, his office would leave the door open to entertain new leads if they become available.

Justin Hook

Justin Hook

Justin Hook, Tina Lade, Sarah Link

Drakesville, IA (Davis County)
Eldon, IA (Wapello County)
Case Number: 84-01854
Date of Crime(s): April 13, 1984
Case Solved: January 10, 2014

Sarah Link

Sarah Link

On Friday, April 13, 1984, the body of 20-year-old Justin Alfred Hook Jr., was found outside near his burned-out mobile home in rural Drakesville in southeast Iowa. Firefighters discovered Hook’s body about 4:30 p.m. after they’d extinguished the fire. He’d been killed by blows to the head.

Tina Lade

Tina Lade

Officials were unable to locate his mother, 41-year-old Sarah Lee Link, to inform her of her son’s death, but discovered her body the following Monday, April 16, in a hilly wooded area north of Eldon. She, too, had died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Andrew Six

Andrew Six

Authorities then launched an intensive search for Hook’s fiancée, 19-year-old Tina Marie Lade of Ottumwa, to whom he’d recently become engaged. On Wednesday, April 18, trained police dogs discovered Miss Lade’s body in a ravine about a half-mile from where they found Mrs. Link’s body. Lade, like the others, had died from blows to the head.

On Jan. 10, 2014, nearly 30 years after the triple homicide, DCI and Wapello County authorities announced that Andrew Wessel Six was responsible for the murders. Missouri authorities executed Six in 1997 for the 1987 kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Kathy Allen.

Frances Bloomfield

Frances Bloomfield

Frances Bloomfield

57 YOA
38 Wakefield Ct.
Iowa City, IA
Johnson County
Date of Crime: Sept. 20, 1997
Arrest Made: The victim’s husband, John Bloomfield, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Nov. 26, 2013
John Bloomfield died Nov. 6, 2014, while awaiting trial.

John Bloomfield booking photo

John Bloomfield

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’d been strangled.

Investigators believe she’d been killed in her home on 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.

Judith Weeks

Judith Weeks

Judith Kay Weeks

44 YOA
1319 Second Ave. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Date of Crime: April 4, 1999
Arrest Made: August 16, 2013
Alford Plea Entered: June 23, 2016 for Voluntary Manslaughter

Deshaun Phillips

Deshaun Phillips

Judith Kay Weeks, a 44-year-old mother of two, was last seen alive on Sunday morning, April 4, 1999. The following day, her body was discovered in the backyard of a vacant apartment house at 1319 Second Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The only apparent injury was a wound to Weeks’ forehead caused by a bladed object, according to a police affidavit filed with an application to search her apartment at 1002 Fifth St. SE.

Deshaun Lamonte Phillips, 34, was arrested in Shakopee, Minn., on Friday, August 16, 2013, and charged with First-Degree Murder in Weeks’ death. On June 23, 2016, he entered an Alford plea to voluntary manslaughter. He faces up to 10 years in prison and will be sentenced Aug. 23, 2016.

John Snyder Jr.

John Snyder Jr.

John Snyder Jr.

20 months old
10 S. Adams Ave., Apt. 1
Mason City, IA
Cerro Gordo County
Date of Crime: July 20, 1994
Arrest Made: July 15, 2013
Suspect Acquitted: July 14, 2014

Twenty-month-old John Joseph Snyder Jr., the son of John Snyder Sr. and Lisa Sellman, was reported as missing from his father’s 10 S. Adams Avenue Mason City apartment on Wednesday morning, July 20, 1994.

Police searched surrounding areas and that same day found the toddler’s blue pajama bottoms and his diaper by Willow Creek about two blocks south of the Snyder home. Thursday morning around 10 a.m., searchers using dogs discovered the young boy’s body snagged on a tree stump near Willow Creek’s north bank, about one-half mile downstream from where the tot’s clothing had been found.

Michael Jason Cisneros

Michael Cisneros (jail photo)

On Monday, July 15, 2013, Mason City police and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation held a press conference stating that Michael Jason Cisneros, 37, formerly of Mason City, had been charged with first-degree murder in John Snyder Jr.’s death. Investigators had linked Cisneros to the crime via solid DNA evidence found on the toddler’s pajama bottoms.

On July 14, 2014 — just six days before the case’s 20th anniversary — Cerro Gordo County jurors acquitted Cisneros, despite the DNA evidence, after public defender Letitia Turney based her entire defense not on her client’s innocence but by defaming the boy’s father to make him appear responsible for the crime. Two weeks after the verdict, a judge found Turney in contempt of court over her handling of the Michael Cisneros murder trial. Turney was fined, though Cisneros cannot be tried again due to double jeopardy.

Cisneros went on to commit other crimes for which he was incarcerated.

Mary Jayne Jones

Mary Jayne Jones

Mary Jayne Jones

17 YOA
Blakesburg, IA
Wapello County
Case # 74-00243
April 9, 1974
Arrest Made: Nov. 13, 2012

Robert Pilcher

Robert Pilcher

Mary Jayne Jones, 17, of Ottumwa, Iowa, was found slain in a farmhouse near Blakesburg, Iowa, on Tuesday, April 9, 1974. She had been shot once in the head and once in the heart at close range with a high-powered rifle.

On Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, Robert “Gene” Pilcher, 68, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Mary Jayne’s death. Under the plea deal, both sides recommended a 10-year sentence, which Judge Richard Meadows imposed on Pilcher.

Pilcher will receive credit for the two years served since his arrest and also will qualify for reductions for good behavior. He may be out of prison in as little as five years.

Evelyn Miller

Evelyn Miller

Evelyn Miller

1781 Quarry Road, Apt. #4
Floyd, Iowa
Floyd County
Date of Crime: July 1, 2005
Date Charges Filed: Sept. 27, 2012
Conviction Date: March 10, 2015

Casey Frederiksen

Casey Frederiksen

Five-year-old Evelyn Miller was reported missing on July 1, 2005, from the Floyd, Iowa apartment her mother, Noel Miller, shared with her fiancé, Casey Frederiksen. Evelyn’s body was found in the Cedar River five days after she went missing.

On Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, Casey Frederiksen was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse in connection with Evelyn’s death.

On Tuesday, March 10, 2015, a Hamilton County jury found Frederiksen, 35, guilty on both charges. Frederiksen is currently serving a 14-year sentence in federal prison for receiving and possessing child pornography, but will now spend the rest of his life behind bars without the possibility of parole.

Alysia Marburger

Alysia Marburger

Alysia Kay Marburger

27 YOA
Home Residence: Sabula, IA
Found: Area of Rock Creek cabins at 2829 U.S. 67
Camanche, IA
Clinton County
Date of Crime: October 7, 2008
Arrest Made: July 27, 2012
Conviction Date: July 11, 2013

Alysia Kay Marburger, 27, was last seen alive leaving a friend’s apartment with Andy Cole of Clinton at about 2:15 a.m. October 7, 2008. The next day, her parents, John and Leone Marburger, filed a missing persons report with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. At 11:08 a.m. on Friday, October 24, 2008, Marburger’s partially nude remains were discovered in a ditch in the Rock Creek Cabin area at 2829 U.S. 67 in Camanche.

Andy Cole

Andy Cole

The Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny conducted an autopsy but was unable to determine an exact cause or manner of death, calling it “highly suspicious of a homicide.”

On Friday, July 27, 2012, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office announced they had arrested Cole and charged him with first-degree murder in Marburger’s death. Cole, 48, entered an Alford plea and on Thursday, July 11, 2013, was sentenced in Clinton County District Court to 10 years on one count of voluntary manslaughter and 5 years for assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

Brandyn Preston

Brandyn Preston

Brandyn Preston

19 YOA
1101 10th Avenue
Fort Dodge, IA
Webster County
Crime Date: May 8, 2011
Date of Death: January 22, 2012
Arrest Made: July 12, 2012

On Sunday, May 8, 2011 — Mother’s Day — Brandyn Preston of Fort Dodge was shot in the neck while attending a bonfire party in the backyard at 1101 10th Ave. SW in Fort Dodge. Preston, 19, was taken to Trinity Regional Medical Center just after 4 a.m. and then transferred to Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines.

Derrick McElroy

Derrick McElroy

The bullet lodged in Preston’s spinal cord and left the basketball enthusiast paralyzed from the neck down and dependent on a ventilator to breathe. On Sunday, January 22, 2012, he passed away in Tampa, Florida, where his family had taken him for long-term care.

On Thursday, July 12, 2012, Derrick J. McElroy, 26, of Fort Dodge, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with Preston’s death.

On Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, a Webster County jury found McElroy guilty as charged.

Robert Huntbach

Robert Huntbach

Robert and Goldie Huntbach

Goldie Huntbach

Goldie Huntbach

311 W. 10th St.
Waterloo, IA
Black Hawk County
Crime Date: January 12, 1981
Arrest Date: May 9, 2012
Conviction Date: June 7, 2012

Robert Huntbach, 85, and his wife Goldie, 77, were bound, gagged, and tortured in their modest Waterloo home before someone shot each of them twice in the head sometime late Sunday night, Jan. 12, 1981. Police interviewed dozens of people after the murders — including Jack Wendell Pursel — but never made any arrests and the case went cold for 31 years.

Jack Pursel

Jack Pursel

Late on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, Jack Wendell Pursel, a 66-year-old former Waterloo resident who’d been living in South Gate, Calif., walked into the Waterloo Police Department and confessed to the double homicide. Police said he offered information about the crime only the killer would have known.

Police arrested Pursel early Wednesday, May 9, and charged him with two counts of first-degree murder.

On June 7, 2012, Judge Brad Harris sentenced Pursel to life in prison without the possibility of parole — the mandatory punishment under state law.

Angela Hennes

Angela Hennes

Angela Marie Hennes

41 YOA
Davenport, IA
Scott County
Case # 07-01804
Est. Date of Death: January 11, 2007
Body Found: January 13, 2007
Arrest Made: June 8, 2011
Conviction Date: April 17, 2012

Chad Welsh

Chad Welsh

On or around January 11, 2007, Angela Hennes, 41, was strangled to death, her body set on fire and then dumped in a farm field off Seven Sisters Road in rural Scott County. Toxicology reports showed no drugs or alcohol in her system.

On June 8, 2011, Scott County authorities announced they had charged Chad Michael Lee Welsh, 33, with Angela’s murder. Investigators linked Welsh to Hennes’ murder through DNA. On April 17, 2012, a Scott County District Court jury found Welsh guilty of first-degree murder.

Cathy Stickley

Cathy Stickley

Catherine “Cathy” Ann Stickley

54 YOA
1500 block alley between Second and Third Avenues SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
Date of Death: April 29, 2011
Arrest of Johnathan Dewayne Mitchell: May 3, 2011
Story County jury acquits Mitchell of all charges: Oct. 23, 2013

Federal prosecutors charged and indicted Mitchell on April 26, 2016, in U.S. District Court for “violently” robbing Stickley on April 29, 2011.
On Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, U.S. District Judge Leonard Strand found Mitchell premeditated and intentionally killed Stickley, and robbed her to buy crack cocaine April 29, 2011. Mitchell was sentenced to the maximum term of 20 years in prison.

On Friday, April 29, 2011, someone stabbed Cedar Rapids cab driver Catherine Ann “Cathy” Stickley 18 times in the neck and head before stealing the cab fare money from the 54-year-old mother of four children and five grandchildren.

Johnathan Mitchell

Johnathan Mitchell

On Tuesday, May 3, 2011, nearly 20 officers in SWAT gear approached the 416 15th St. NE home of 33-year-old Johnathan Dewayne Mitchell, located a half-block from Polk Elementary School and just five blocks from where Stickley had been killed. Armed with shields, rifles, and crowbars, officials arrested Mitchell at the home without incident and later charged him with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in Stickley’s homicide.

The trial — moved from Linn County to Story County based on pretrial publicity — eventually began jury selection on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in Nevada, Iowa. On Oct. 23, 2013, Story County jurors acquitted Mitchell on both the murder and robbery charges. The story did not end there.

On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, federal prosecutors charged and indicted Mitchell in U.S. District Court for “violently” robbing Stickley on April 29, 2011. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

On Thursday, August 31, 2017, a federal judge ruled Mitchell finally competent to stand trial, although Christopher Nathan, Mitchell’s lawyer, asked that the court be closed for discussion about setting a new trial date because it involved trial strategy he didn’t want to make public at that time.

Mitchell had been found incompetent to stand trial off and on since 2016.

U.S. Magistrate Kelly Mahoney, presiding by video conference closed the hearing and then reopened it to announce the trial would be set for sometime in 2018. No other issues were discussed.

Mitchell refused to take antipsychotic medications prescribed by prison doctors. A judge finally ordered him to take the medications to remain competent.

Mitchell was sentenced Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, in U.S. District Court to the maximum term of 20 years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Leonard Strand found Mitchell premeditated and intentionally killed cab driver and mother Catherine Ann Boyle Stickley, 54, of Cedar Rapids, and robbed her to buy crack cocaine on April 29, 2011.

Mitchell was sentenced Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, in U.S. District Court to the maximum term of 20 years in prison. After waiting more than 11 years to see justice, Stickley’s family was finally able to find peace and start the healing process.

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12 Responses to Solved

  1. MRF says:

    Annette Cahill never mentioned the bat before public knowledge. That was a misstatement by investigators that was later recanted. She was convicted on the testimony of a girl who was 9 when she claims to have overheard this confession. There was NO physical evidence linking her to the crime. This is a miscarriage of justice.

  2. Richard Clark says:

    My father was murdered in a hotel at pocahontas Ia in 1977. His name is Warren Douglas Clark. And yet i can find no records of his case file or court records of the trial for the man the was caught for his murder.

    • anon says:

      Richard, I am so sorry about your father. Here is a link to the perp’s appeal (which the perp lost).

      The perp is named Kline Goeders

    • Emily says:


      • Stay Strong, Keep Fighting For Justice! says:

        No kidding, wow, hard to follow to say the least…

        Best I can tell Myra Williams is expressing her remorse to Richard Clark for the death of his father Warren Douglas Clark at the hands of her father Kline Goeders – a man implicated in the death of Mamie Sime (profile on this web site) as well I might add.

        You’ll need to fire up some Crystal Meth or something to attempt to follow anything she’s trying to articulate beyond that – totally unintelligible.

        • Myra williams says:

          Your comments should be respectful. Have u heard the saying if u cant say anything dont say anything at all. Ppl are trying to get piece of mind with the loss of a loved one. Shame on you. Im gonna pray for you my you find peace within yourself and not judge as there is only one true judge our God in heaven. In jesus name i pray Amen.

  3. Gail says:

    I think it is great there is justice be served for these lost people!!!

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