Crystal Gaffney and Shaun Hogan: What we know - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Crystal Gaffney and Shaun Hogan: What we know

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Crystal Gaffney, undated photo. (Courtesy of Gaffney family) Crystal Gaffney, undated photo. (Courtesy of Gaffney family)
Crystal Gaffney, undated photo. (Courtesy Gaffney's family) Crystal Gaffney, undated photo. (Courtesy Gaffney's family)
Crystal Gaffney, undated photo Crystal Gaffney, undated photo
Shaun Hogan, arrested for first-degree murder in Crystal Gaffney's death. Shaun Hogan, arrested for first-degree murder in Crystal Gaffney's death.
WATERLOO (KWWL) - Here's what KWWL has learned about Crystal Gaffney, the woman found dead Wednesday morning, and Shaun Hogan, the man accused of killing her:


Hogan, 36, and Crystal Gaffney, 29, a graduate of Waterloo East High School, had an 8-month-old daughter, Neveah, together, according to family members, who didn't want to be individually identified for fear of retaliation at this time but agreed to talk to KWWL's Shelley Russell.

According to the Facebook page for Gaffney, she ended her most recent relationship on June 30. Another Facebook post on July 6 said it had "been a whole week without seeing my baby."

The 8-month-old daughter was in the temporary custody of Hogan, according to Gaffney's family members. Hogan and Gaffney were due in court Thursday to deal with custody issues, which is confirmed both by family members and alluded to on Gaffney's Facebook wall.

Family members say they believe the judge would not have granted custody rights to Hogan.


Family members told KWWL's Shelley Russell that Gaffney had a hard life. They said the tattoo police had taken a photo of in order to solicit help identifying a woman's body was Gaffney's, and that it represented the mother Gaffney lost in a car crash when Gaffney was 7 years old.

They also say seeing the tattoo on KWWL made them realize the body was Gaffney's, and prompted the phone call to police to identify her. Authorities have not officially identified the body as Gaffney's.

On July 4, Gaffney posted to Facebook reflected her frustration with someone she said had "taken someone's child from their mother" and called out the unnamed man in a rant about the man allegedly getting a restraining order and threatening "someone's family."

In the days before a woman's body was found -- a body family members say is Gaffney's -- Gaffney posted Bible verses about persecution and justice on her enemies as well as inspirational quotes.

Family members say Gaffney hadn't been religious, but that a week before her death she had found her late mother's Bible and began reading it.

Her three daughters, including 8-month-old Neveah, were her life, say family members.

Gaffney's last original post was at 10:10 a.m. Tuesday, when she expressed gratitude toward God and mentioned excitement that a representative from DHS had told her they would "open the case up for him not me."


According to the Linn County Sheriff's Office, Gaffney's body was found near the town of Walker in Linn County on Wednesday morning. After an autopsy, her cause of death was determined to be head trauma.

Hogan was alleged to have abducted Neveah as well as Gaffney's two older daughters Wednesday night. All three girls were found safe Wednesday night shortly after an AMBER Alert was issued.

Hogan, however, was not found until Thursday afternoon, when Waterloo Police took him into custody at University Avenue Studios East. Residents there say the SWAT team appeared to shoot through a window before making the arrest in the parking lot.

Hogan was charged with first-degree murder in Gaffney's death just after 4 p.m. Thursday. He is being held without bond in the Linn County Jail and will make his initial court appearance Friday at 10:30 a.m.

Police also confirmed Gaffney and Hogan had one child together and that Gaffney was the mother of all three children abducted by Hogan.

Shelley Russell contributed to this report.
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