CHARLES CITY (AP) — An Iowa judge on Tuesday set a $2 million bond for an Illinois inmate charged with sexually assaulting and killing his girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter in a case that took years for investigators to build because of a lack of physical evidence.
Casey Frederiksen, 33, made his initial court appearance before a magistrate in Floyd County on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse in the 2005 death of Evelyn Miller. Bond was set at $1 million cash on each charge, KCHA radio reported. Frederiksen will be appointed a public defender, but no attorney was named. A preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 26.
Floyd County Attorney Normand Klemesrud said even if Frederiksen is able to post bond, he wouldn’t be set free. He would be sent back to the federal prison in Illinois where he was serving time on child pornography and drug charges, the Globe Gazette reported.
During the hearing, Frederiksen asked Magistrate Ann Troge not to allow expanded media coverage of the case, saying he’s received death threats.
“Media has already affected this even over in Illinois where I was incarcerated,” Frederiksen said. He added that media attention is probably going to force him to apply for a change of venue.
Troge denied the request to bar cameras and video equipment from the courtroom, explaining that the case has garnered a lot of public interest and is newsworthy.
Evelyn vanished from her family’s apartment in Floyd in the early-morning hours of July 1, 2005. At the time, Frederiksen was engaged to Evelyn’s mother, Noel Miller, and living with them. He was watching the girl and two other young children and claimed he was sleeping when she vanished.
Frederiksen quickly came under suspicion because of odd and troubling behavior, including head-butting a wall and screaming at police while they searched the apartment. The girl’s body was found days later by kayakers on the banks of the Cedar River, about 2 miles from her home.
Without a murder weapon, DNA evidence or witnesses who saw the slaying, Frederiksen was not charged for more than seven years.
Frederiksen was convicted of federal child pornography charges and later on methamphetamine charges with evidence gathered during the investigation into Evelyn’s death. Those convictions will keep him behind bars until 2026, regardless of whether he’s convicted in Evelyn’s death.
Frederiksen was charged in the girl’s slaying last month. Prosecutors said he changed his story while in federal prison and inmates said he made incriminating statements. Investigators said Frederiksen told an inmate he touched the girl’s dead body and carried her to the river and confided details in others that never had never been released, such as that the girl had been stabbed in the neck and that she was found with her clothes on.
A judge signed an order on Sept. 27 to bring Frederiksen from the federal prison in Marion, Ill., to Iowa to face the charges. Frederiksen was taken into state custody on Monday.