Arrest made in 20-year-old Johnson County murder - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Arrest made in 20-year-old Johnson County murder

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Susan Kersten Susan Kersten
Steven Klein Steven Klein
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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office says they have made an arrest in the case of a Johnson County woman murdered in 1995 -- and her family is crediting a cold-case television show for helping to solve it.

Lt. Doug Gwinn says 54-year-old Steven J. Klein was arrested in Muscatine at around 11 a.m. today in connection with the 1995 murder of Susan Kersten.

Kersten's body was found inside her burning car in a farm field southeast of Iowa City on Highway 923 on September 24, 1995.

Detectives say her death was the result of several blows to the head, and that Klein staged a car accident and set the car on fire.

Klein was divorced and the mother of four children, including one-year-old twin daughters.

According to the website "Iowa Cold Cases," Klein was determined to be the father of those twins, and a child support hearing was supposed to have happened just three weeks after Kersten was killed.

Klein is being held in the Johnson County Jail on $1 million cash-only bond.

The Muscatine County Sheriff's Office assisted in Klein's arrest.

BJ Franklin, Manager of Horizons Survivors’ Program, issued the following statement on behalf of Susan P. Kersten’s family.

“We are overjoyed that there has been an arrest made in our mother’s brutal murder. We want to honor and thank Prosecuting County Attorney Janet Lyness, Lt. Doug Gwinn, Kevin Kinney and the Johnson County Sheriff’s office. We are grateful to Kelly Seigler, and the producers and crew of the television show, Cold Justice for being a catalyst in bringing things that were hidden into the light. We would like to also honor retired DCI Special Agent Bill Keitzman and Retired Detective Mike Scheetz, whose perseverance and tenacity will not be forgotten.”

“We miss our mother and want her to be remembered as a highly creative and talented women who loved her kids, stated Sandra Rohrer and Jason Kersten. We are confident that through the judicial system that Steve Klein will be held legally accountable for his deliberate actions of brutality towards our mother.”

The Survivors' Program addresses the needs of families and those impacted by homicide and vehicular homicide victims.

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