Two people have been arrested in connection in connections to the death of a Des Moines man found lifeless in the back of a vehicle June 22, in 1200 block of West 18th Street South in Newton.
The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office is still not releasing a cause of death, but court documents reveal an alleged assault with a baseball bat, beginning at a residence in Colfax and ending in the car around 3 a.m. near Interstate 80 in Newton.
According to investigators, law enforcement officials executed a search warrant Thursday at the home of 50-year-old Jeffery Lee Stendrup, of Clive, searching for evidence related to the death of 38-year-old Jeremy McDowell.
Stendrup has been charged with the first-degree robbery and is being held at the Jasper County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
According to a statement released Monday by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, the Des Moines Metro SERT team, Clive Police Department, West Des Moines Police Department, and Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force assisted in executing Stendrup’s warrant and arrest.
The second suspect, 24-year-old Jaycie Sheeder, was also arrested Thursday by Jasper County Sheriff’s deputies and local police at a residence in Coon Rapids. She is facing charges of accessory to a felony and has posted a $2,000 bond.
The initial criminal complaint filed in Jasper County Court states dispatchers received a 911 call at 3:13 a.m. June 22 from Sheeder. She said a male, McDowell, had been assaulted and needed medical attention.
She met EMS and police in a business parking lot on West 18th Street South in Newton, and first responders found McDowell dead in the back of the vehicle, registered to Dave Anderson and Doreen Coleman, of Colfax.
Police obtained a search warrant and found evidence of an assault at a residence in the 600 block of South Walnut Street in Colfax, where investigators believe McDowell went to meet with Anderson around 11 p.m. June 21. Stendrup, who reportedly knows both McDowell and Anderson, allegedly entered the residence without permission and began to physically assault McDowell with a baseball bat.
Court documents state Anderson, who witnessed the assault, told police Stendrup struck McDowell approximately 12 times while yelling “I’m going to kill you” to McDowell and accusing the victim of stealing items from him.
Anderson told police when Stendrup finished beating McDowell, he threatened to burn the house to the ground with Anderson inside if he told anyone about the incident.
According to Anderson’s report, McDowell and Stendrup bought and sold illegal drugs from each other.
Sheeder was allegedly outside when the assault took place. According to reports, Sheeder allegedly drove Stendrup back to Des Moines when Anderson called her to take McDowell to the hospital. She returned and did take McDowell to get medical assistance. Authorities alleged, after interviewing Sheeder, she assisted Stendrup by keeping silent about his involvement in the assault. The baseball bat, thought to be used in the assault, was located by investigators in Sheeder’s car.
The case is still under investigation and Jasper County Sheriff John Halferty said further criminal charges may be filed in the case.