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cold case
From left: Norman Jean Horgen, Roger Joynt, Graciela "Grace" Esquivel, Rodney John Olsen, Roberta "Bobbi" Crawford, Gerald Best.

• The body of Norma Jean Horgen, 18, of St. Ansgar, was found Sept. 10, 1966, floating in Clear Lake.

John Rea Wallace, 45, a Las Vegas, Nev., veterinarian, was charged in 1992 with first-degree murder for allegedly drowning Horgen.

The charge was dismissed in February 1993  when a judge ruled that the indictment was tainted.

• Andy Hatges, 76, owner of the former West Vu Market, 2601 Fourth St. S.W., Mason City, was found dead in his home on March 8, 1968, after he didn’t open the store that morning.

He was found lying face down near a corner of his living room with his throat slashed, according to police records. Bruises and cuts were found on his hands and a crescent wrench was found under his body.

Police said more than 400 people were questioned.

• The body of Charles Hines, 45, was found on the sidewalk outside the Delaware Tap, 11 S. Delaware Ave.,  Mason City, at 2:45 a.m. Aug. 2, 1975. Police believe he was assaulted. There was a report of a fight involving Hines.

• Elgin Strait, 80, was found dead March 17, 1977, shot in the back of the head with a shotgun in a basement bed at his home at 1302 S. Hampshire Ave., Mason City.

• Roger Joynt, 26, 509 N. Jefferson Ave., Mason City, was shot to death Sept. 29, 1978. He was shot eight times with a small-caliber gun, according to Globe Gazette records.

• Graciela “Grace” Esquivel, 25, of 1619 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Mason City, was reported missing June 10, 1983.

Her 6-year-old daughter spent the night of June 10 with her grandparents while Grace said she was going out with friends.

Reports said her bed was found turned down as if someone was ready to go to bed and her wallet and driver’s license were left behind.

Police said her Social Security number has not been used since her disappearance.

• Mason City-area farmer Rodney John Olsen, 32, was reported missing Oct. 18, 1986.

Olsen farmed northeast of Mason City. He had moved from the Britt area.

He reportedly left his home at 1 a.m. to visit someone and has not been seen since.

Olsen’s car, a black 1978 Pontiac Sunbird, was found several months later in a Forest City trailer park.

Officials reviewed the case around 2007, Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals said, but there were no new leads.

No clues were found to indicate what happened to Olsen, according to reports at that time.

“I wouldn’t say that it’s cold on the shelf yet, but we’re still considering some options on trying to drum something up,” Pals said.

• Dillon Luna, 15 days old, was found dead of smoke inhalation April 30, 1992, at his parents’ home at 1429 N. Federal Ave., Mason City.

A fire that destroyed the Luna home was caused by arson, investigators said.

• Lowell Stumo, 48, was found shot to death near his farmhouse southwest of Northwood on Dec. 8, 1997.

His farm borders Elk Creek Marsh, a state-owned property where hunting is allowed.

Authorities initially questioned whether the death was a murder or a hunting accident.

Stumo was shot once with a high-powered rifle, Worth County Sheriff Jay Langenbau said, adding that the death was “suspicious” and so is considered a homicide.

• Mildred Clemenson, 81, of rural Kensett, was found dead in her home on Nov. 11, 1998.

She died as a result of a head injury caused by a blunt object, said Doug Krull, then Worth County attorney.

“It was not an accidental injury,” he said.

• Roberta “Bobbi” Crawford, 53, was found murdered Nov. 17, 1999, in her Hampton home. Authorities said she died of blunt trauma to the head.

Crawford’s body was found after co-workers at Ellsworth Community College, Iowa Falls, reported her missing.

• Gerald Best, 50, was found stabbed to death on Dec. 30, 1999, in his apartment at 4 N. Madison Ave. in Mason City. His throat was slashed.

— Richard Johnson

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