Missing Dubuque woman's family remembers victims of unsolved cases
Written by Lauren DeWitt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -
Unsolved homicides and missing persons cases can be frustrating for not only local law enforcement agencies, but grieving families searching for answers. One group in Dubuque is looking to draw attention to those unsolved homicides and missing persons cases in Dubuque through a day of remembrance. Saturday morning, many made their way to Jackson Park in Dubuque to participate in a ceremony to remember victims of unsolved homicides and missing persons cases and show support for the families.
During Saturday's ceremony, 12 unsolved homicide and missing cases were recognized. The ceremony consisted of lamentation prayer and song. James Rafferty is a member of the Social Justice Committee of St. Raphael and St. Patrick - the committee that hosted Saturday's event.
"Nobody should not be remembered." he said.
The day offered promise to Jennifer Puetsch and her family. Puetsch's sister, Crystal Arensdorf, went missing on July 4th, 2001. She was 20 years old.
"She was very fun, very loving, and a very happy girl." Puetsch said.
Puetsch said that every day has been a struggle for her and her family - a family that is just searching for answers.
"We need the closure, it's been way to long. Somebody knows something and they just need to talk," Puetsch said.
Arendsdorf's family hopes events like this help raise awareness about these unsolved crimes. They also hope it might lead to answers.
"I think it's very important to keep this alive to make sure Crystal is found. We need the closure," Puetsch said.
They joined other victims families at the gathering. Members of the Social Justice Committee say they started planning Saturday's ceremony with the one year anniversary of Marlon Barber Jr.'s unsolved homicide in mind. On Oct. 20, 2012, the 15-year-old Dubuquer was shot in the chest and stomach as he and his friends were walking away from a party. He died soon after in the hospital.
They hope the event keeps these cases in the public's eye.
•Francis Rafferty, who was killed in 1964 in a home invasion.
•Sherrie and Victoria Martin were sisters who burned alive in an unsolved 1965 case of arson.
•Kenneth Bouzard was beaten to death near the railroad tracks in 1971.
•In 1975, Jackie Shireman was stabbed 30 times with a pair of scissors.
•Patrician Spahn went missing from East Dubuque, Ill., in 1975.
•Theodore Hoerstman went missing in December of 1982.
•The body of 14-year-old Kenny Joe Johnson was discovered in 1987 in Dubuque. An autopsy revealed he'd been sexually assaulted and strangled to death.
•Paul Knockel went missing on Thanksgiving of 1990.
•20-year-old Crystal Arensdorf disappeared on the Fourth of July, 2001.
•Amy Luce has been missing since July of 2012.
For more information on Iowa's cold cases, CLICK HERE.
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