UPDATE: Lingering questions remain in Cedar Falls homicide - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Lingering questions remain in Cedar Falls homicide

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UPDATE:  A week after an autopsy, there's still a lot of lingering questions as to how a Cedar Falls man was murdered.

The body of 31-year-old Curtis Ross was found in a remote rural area of Appanoose county. Just last week, investigators expanded their search to two Iowa counties and also asked for the public's help.

However, with no new information since then, KWWL pressed the DCI for answers as to what exactly they know about the circumstances around his death. 

KWWL spoke with lead DCI Special Agent Michael Motsinger who is working the case. 

"We're not going to get into the details as to how he was killed at this point," said Motsinger. 

Investigators are keeping tight lipped on the evolving investigation. However, the DCI has been asking for the public's help. 

"Obviously, we have gotten some information from the public," said Motsinger. "Some of it's rumor mill, you know, obviously that we're having to follow up on. But what we were asking the hunters to look for is anything out of the ordinary, if they see hunting gear that shouldn't be there."

Agent Motsinger would not disclose what evidence they found, but did say those items have been sent to the state crime lab and they're hoping those results will give them some clarity, including who is responsible. . 

Just last week, the DCI told us the suspect or suspects were still on the run and should be considered armed and dangerous.  However, a few days later, investigators said there was no longer an immediate public threat. The new information prompted KWWL to ask if anyone was being held.

KWWL asked Agent Motsinger if the DCI was looking for, or had any suspects in custody. 

"At this time, we're waiting for this stuff to be analyzed, conducting interviews, following through on them," said Motsinger. "And hopefully here in the next day or so, we'll be able to answer a lot more questions for the general public.

Ross was an avid hunter who worked for Roegner buildings out of Grundy Center. His family has asked for privacy at this time, saying they too have many questions and no answers. 


UPDATE: The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation says potential evidence in the homicide of a Cedar Falls hunter has been taken to the State Crime Lab.
The body of Curtis Ross was found in rural Appanoose County over the weekend, investigators say he was killed by someone. That killer still hasn't been caught. 
Initially, investigators thought the killer may have been armed and dangerous, but they now say the immediate threat is lower.
Police are still asking for help, if you know anything contact DCI. 
UPDATE: The Family of Curtis Ross has released a statement:

The family of Curtis Ross would like to sincerely thank family, friends and the community for their outpouring of support at this most difficult time.  We are overcome with shock and grief that Curt was taken from our lives.  He was a thoughtful and loving son, brother, and uncle.  Curt was a smart, careful and accomplished outdoorsman.  The department of Criminal Investigation, Iowa State Patrol, Appanoose County Sheriff’s office, Iowa Department of Natural resources, and the Wayne County Sheriff’s office are working around the clock on this case.  We have many questions with no answers.  If you have any bit of information, PLEASE call the Appanoose County Law Center at 641-437-7100.  Any information big or small could be an important piece in solving this horrific crime.  
Thank you,
The Family of Curtis Ross


Investigators from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are warning hunters in rural Appanoose county to stay vigilant as they work to track down who is responsible for the homicide of a Cedar Falls hunter. 

The body of 31-year-old Curtis Ross, from Cedar Falls, was found in a remote rural area of Appanoose county over the weekend.

Investigators say the Appanoose County Sheriff's office got a call around 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning saying a hunter was missing. Shortly after, the Sheriff's office conducted a search where they found Ross' body in a remote rural area of Appanoose County in the public hunting land. His body was recovered in the hunting area that surrounds lake Rathbun. 

Family and lead investigators say the motive behind the homicide is still unclear. However, investigators say they do know how Ross was killed, but those details are being kept as part of the investigation

The DCI says Ross' death was no accident. DCI (Department of Criminal Investigations) Special Agent Michael Motsinger is the lead investigator on the case.

"You try to get to know the victim through the family and the friends," said Agent Motsinger. "Who do they have contact with? Who does the victim know?"

The Iowa Department of Public Safety says the suspect or suspects should be considered armed and dangerous. Investigators are treating his death as a homicide, but would not say how Ross was killed. 

"I wouldn't read into the fact that it's a handgun versus a rifle versus a shotgun," said Agent Motsinger. "It's just, I'm considering them armed and dangerous and I just want people to be aware that if they encounter people out in the trees or whatever just to obviously be a little bit more aware of what's going on."

The DCI says they've been funneling through various tips and leads. In the meantime, the DCI is asking hunters to be vigilant. Agent Motsinger says shotgun deer season is fast approaching this weekend in Appanoose County.

"Be a little bit more aware of your surroundings because these people are armed," said Motsinger. "We think they're dangerous obviously and we just want people to be careful out there."

An autopsy was started yesterday by the State medical examiner's office. The DCI says the results of the autopsy will take four to six weeks. 

Investigators are asking for help, if you have any information call the Appanoose County Law Enforcement Center at (641) 437-7100.

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