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Former police chief shocked by arrest in case

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MASON CITY — Former Mason City Police Chief Duane Jewell was stunned Monday when told there was an arrest in the murder of John Snyder Jr.

Jewell was police chief when the child’s body was found in Willow Creek in 1994.

“Wow,” he said, “that’s hard to believe. I was just out at the cemetery yesterday and I saw a relative of the little boy putting flowers on his grave. We chatted for a few minutes. And now this comes up today.”

Jewell said he will be interested to learn more about the DNA evidence and the circumstances leading up to Monday’s arrest.

Jim Fountas was one of the officers who found the child’s body.

“Well that’s great,” he said when told an arrest had been made.

Fountas said he couldn’t remember too many details but thought police found some diapers near Willow Creek and then came across the body a short time later.

“I’m glad to hear they made an arrest. I’ll tell you something, that DNA evidence is pretty important.

“It helps a lot. They didn’t have that back in my day, or at least not to this extent.”

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