UPDATE — 7/15/14 — Female Victim In Akron Double Death Case Died Of Blunt Force Trauma

Date posted - July 14, 2014

JON

Jonathon Neunaber

Akron, Iowa — One of the two Akron residents who were found dead in their home last week died of blunt-force trauma — that from an autopsy report from the Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny.

The bodies of 83-year old Donald John Neunaber, and 80-year old Esther Grace Neunaber of rural Akron were found on Wednesday evening, July 9th.

The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner says that the cause of death for Esther Neunaber will be certified as blunt force injuries. Her manner of death is classified as a homicide. The cause and manner of death for Donald Neunaber is pending additional laboratory testing.

The couple’s son who had recently been living with them, Jonathan Neunaber was returned to Plymouth County over the weekend and is being held in the Plymouth County Jail. Deputies transported Jonathan Neunaber from La Crosse, Wisconsin where he had been arrested after a traffic stop.  Jonathan Neunaber did make an initial appearance in Plymouth County and is being held without bond as a material witness in the death investigation. He has not been charged with any crime.

However, the vehicle he was driving at the time of his arrest was seized and is being held in La Crosse. The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office and DCI are working on getting the vehicle to the DCI lab in Des Moines where a crime scene team will process the vehicle for evidentiary purposes. The vehicle is a 2006 Buick, which was registered to Donald and Esther Neunaber.

Plymouth County authorities say the investigation continues.

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Akron, Iowa — A person of interest in the Akron double death case will come back to Iowa willingly.

Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo says his office, along with the Plymouth County Attorney’s Office, are working on arrangements to have Jonathon Neunaber transported back to Plymouth County.  Neunaber waived extradition on Friday, July 11th, and will come back to Iowa willingly.  Van Otterloo stressed that Neunaber has not been charged with any crime, and is being held as a material witness in the case.

Van Otterloo’s office advised on Saturday morning that Dr. Michele Catellier at the Office of the State Medical Examiner performed autopsies on the bodies of 83-year old Donald John Neunaber, and 80-year old Esther Grace Neunaber; but that the cause and manner of death of the pair cannot be released at this time because the case is under active investigation.

The Sheriff’s Office says that the bodies were discovered on Wednesday evening, July 9th.  Deputies called the manner of death in the case, “suspicious”, and Van Otterloo says they were “violent deaths”.
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Plymouth County authorities have released the names of the two individuals found dead at their residence Wednesday night.

Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo identified the deceased as 83-year old Donald John Neunaber, and 80-year old Esther Grace Neunaber.  The bodies of the couple have been taken to Ankeny to the State Medical Examiner’s Office to be autopsied later today (Friday).

Investigators are continuing to process the scene of the deaths and hope to complete that part of the investigation late this afternoon, according to Van Otterloo.

He says that Jonathon Donald Neunabor was located last (Thursday) evening by officers in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  Agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation will be travelling to Wisconsin to continue their investigation in the case, according to Van Otterloo.  He said the vehicle was also located in La Crosse.

Van Otterloo says his office, along with the Plymouth County Attorney’s Office, will be working on arrangements to have Jonathon Neunaber transported back to Plymouth County.  Van Otterloo stressed that Neunaber has not been charged with any crime, and is being held as a material witness in the case.

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A rural Akron man being sought by Plymouth County authorities as a material witness in a death investigation has been located.

According to Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo, Jonathon Neunaber has been located and detained by police in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.  Van Otterloo says that LaCrosse police stopped Neunaber for a traffic violation while he was reportedly driving the 2006 Buick that Plymouth County authorities were seeking in connection with this case.  Van Otterloo says Neunaber is being detained in Wisconsin on a Material Witness Warrant, which is a no-bond warrant.  He says Neunaber’s car has been impounded and will be processed by investigators.

Van Otterloo says arrangements are being made to transport Neunaber back to Plymouth County.

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At a press conference held late Thursday afternoon at the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office in LeMars, Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo announced that a Material Witness Warrant has been issued for Jonathon Donald Neunaber of rural Akron in connection with the death investigation being conducted by Plymouth County authorities.  Van Otterloo stressed that Neunaber has not been charged with any crime, nor has there been an arrest warrant issued for him, but that authorities believe he has information which will be helpful to them in trying to determine exactly what happened to the people found dead at a rural Akron residence Wednesday evening.  Van Otterloo said he believes Neunaber, who is listed as living at the site of the deaths, may be driving a beige 2006 Buick, with Iowa license number ACG886.

As of the time of the press conference, Van Otterloo says the Crime Scene Crew were still on the scene, and he said they would be for several more hours.  He said the bodies of the deceased were also still on the scene to assist the Crime Scene Crew in trying to piece together exactly what happened.  Van Otterloo said the bodies would probably be removed from the scene sometime late Thursday night and taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny for autopsy to help determine the manner and cause of death.

When asked, Van Otterloo declined to identify the deceased, but described them as an elderly couple who were known in the Akron community.  When asked about cause of death, Van Otterloo refused to speculate, but said they were “violent deaths”.  Van Otterloo said he would estimate the time of death to be “sometime in the past couple of weeks.”

Van Otterloo said that investigators are moving forward and working hard trying to figure out what happened in what he called a “complex” crime scene.

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Late Wednesday evening the Plymouth County Communications Center received a 911 call regarding Plymouth Co Sheriffthe welfare of two individuals at a rural Akron residence.  The Sheriff’s Office says that when deputies arrived at the scene they discovered that the two individuals were deceased.  Deputies called the manner of death in the case, “suspicious”.

Investigators and officers from the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa State Patrol, Plymouth County Medical Examiner, U.S. Marshal’s Service and local police departments are assisting Plymouth County Sheriff’s officers in the investigation, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Police say the Iowa DCI Crime Lab’s assistance has been requested, and they were scheduled to arrive Thursday to process the scene.  Police say the bodies will be transported to the Iowa Medical Examiner in Ankeny to assist in determining manner and/or cause of death.

The identities of the deceased have not been released.

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