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Family Goes Five Years Without Answers in Warren County Murder

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NORWALK, Iowa - It started out as a fatal fire, and quickly transformed into a murder mystery.

"I don't know, it's just really kind of upsetting, because you don't know what - there's so many things going through your mind," said Leann Warywoda, the step-daughter of Bill Wood. "And you wonder who did it? Why they did it? Then after awhile, it's when are they going to find them?"

Saturday, July 30 marks exactly five years since Warywoda and the rest of her family learned of Wood's murder; Warren County investigators discovered his body inside his burned-down home, shot multiple times. His wife, Kay Wood, had disappeared.

The next day after the fire, on Sunday, July 31, 2011, the couple's 2009 red Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck was seen at an apartment complex in Kansas City. Investigators with Iowa’s Department of Public Safety want to speak with a man who witnesses say was last seen near the truck. DPS refers to that man as a “person of interest.”

Questions like, "Why?" and, "How come?" circle Warywoda's mind on a daily basis. But she and the rest of the family refuse to let time wear them down; they don't believe this will become a cold case, and they're speaking out year after year on the anniversary of this tragedy, hoping someone, somewhere, has information that could lead to an arrest.

"The case is not a cold case, I want to state that - it's not cold. They're still investigating it, they're still investigating different leads and other aspects of it," she said. "Somebody has to know something. Even anything would help."

Warywoda says the last time she heard from agents with the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation was two years ago. But DCI agents tell Channel 13 they are still following leads and sorting out the information they have. In a "Whodunnit?" case such as this, DCI agents say it can be difficult to find answers - but even the smallest piece of information could crack the case wide open.

"We're just wondering when they're going to find these people that did it, and how much longer we're going to have to wait," Warywoda said.

Until then, this family is left wondering how many more times they'll have to go on the news, pleading for answers. The emotional turmoil is gone, but without closure, it's hard for this family to make peace.

"There's still an emptiness there," she said. "That hasn't been filled from the knowledge of why."

An $8,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with any information is asked to contact The Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 515-961-1122, or The Department of Public Safety at 515-725-6253.