COLD CASE: Man Arrested In 1974 Murder


Ottumwa Police have made an arrest in a decades-old murder investigation.

The body of 17-year old Mary Jane Jones was found in a farm house in rural Wapello County in April of 1974. She had been sexually assaulted and shot twice.

Evidence was collected at the crime scene and then filed away by the DCI for 38-years.

Recently that evidence was re-examined and authorities say they found traces of DNA that lead them to 66-year old Robert Pilcher of Des Moines.

Police say Jones’ body was found at the home of Pilcher’s cousin in 1974. The cousin was out of town at the time and Pilcher had access to the home.

He was originally questioned, but not charged.

Pilcher is now in the Wapello County jail being held on $1 million bond.

Filed in: News

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