Investigation Ongoing Into Alleged Serial Killings In Fremont County

The Iowa Division Of Criminal Investigation (DCI) announced Monday that state, local, and federal law enforcement officials are continuing their efforts to corroborate the report of serial killings taking place over several years in a rural area of Fremont County near Thurman.

As previously reported in The Opinion-Tribune and other media outlets, Lucy Studey told law enforcement officers her father, the late Donald Dean Studey, murdered between 50 and 70 women and buried them in the Green Hollow area of Fremont County over a period of three decades. In a report first published on in October, Lucy Studey claimed the bodies were disposed of around an abandoned well on a property north of Thurman. She said she and her siblings were often compelled by their father to help dispose of the bodies out of fear for their own lives.

Donald Studey died in 2013 at age 75.

In October, a cadaver dog team brought in by Fremont County Sheriff Kevin Aistrope indicated the presence of suspected human remains at spots Lucy Studey identified in a heavily wooded and bluff area known locally as “Green Hollow.”

Cadaver dogs are capable of detecting even the most microscopic of human remains decades old. While the dogs did signal human remains at multiple locations in the area, no bodies or other forensic evidence has yet been recovered, Tim Bothwell, Chief Deputy for the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, told The Opinion-Tribune.

Law enforcement officials have confirmed that additional interviews have been conducted with Studey to help corroborate her claims, along with a forensic excavation of the site and pouring through both missing persons reports and Donald Studey’s activities dating as far back as the 1960s.

“We’re in the very beginning stages but the Fremont County sheriff’s office has requested our assistance in this after they got the information,” DCI Assistant Director Mitch Mortvedt, said. “There’s a lot of work to be done yet.”

A statement released Monday by Mortvedt said no new information in the case is currently available but the DCI “will keep the public apprised of any significant developments.”

The Opinion-Tribune

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