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Names released in Iowa violent deaths case

  • Associated Press
  • July 11, 2014 - 3:50 PM

AKRON, Iowa — Authorities on Friday released the names of two elderly people whose deaths a northwest Iowa sheriff described as violent.

Donald John Neunaber, 83, and Esther Grace Neunaber, 80, were found dead Wednesday night in a house in Akron, a small community near the South Dakota state line. It's unclear whether they were married or otherwise related, but they lived in the home together.

The cause of their deaths hasn't been released, according to the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office. But Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo said at a Thursday afternoon news conference that the deaths were violent, the Sioux City Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1oqEP38). He did not elaborate.

The bodies were discovered after local deputies were called to the house for a wellness check. They were sent to the state medical examiner's office for autopsies, after a crime scene unit with the state Division of Criminal Investigation spent some time in the house.

Authorities on Thursday night detained a man they believe may know information about the case. He was stopped in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on a traffic violation and was held on a material witness warrant. Arrangements are being made to return him to Iowa.

Van Otterloo said the man, who lives at the rural Akron home where the bodies were found, is not considered a suspect and no charges have been filed.

© 2014 Star Tribune