COLD CASE: Friends React To Arrest

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The arrest of a Des Moines man in a cold case murder is dredging up some horrible memories for friends of the victim. “

Oh, it was, I’m going to tear up here.  Just hit me like a ton of bricks,” says Judy Stevens of Ottumwa. “It shouldn’t have happened to someone that young.  And that vivacious.  Her life was just cut too short. Way too short.”

Stevens remembers the day her friend was murdered..just like it was yesterday.  She worked at a small hamburger joint in Ottumwa with her friend, Mary Jayne Jones.  Jones was found murdered in a small farmhouse just outside of town in April of 1974.   She had been raped and shot. 

Now, because of DNA material collected at the scene, investigators have arrested 66-year-old Robert Pilcher and charged him with Jones’ murder.   Stevens would like to see Pilcher spend the rest of his life in prison if he’s convicted.  After 38-ears, she says, her friend deserves justice.  “And I just think she’s a little angel up there in heaven.  And she’s alright.”

Pilcher, who has a pleaded not guilty to the charges, is being held on one-million dollars cash bond.



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