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Jasper County Tribune

Two people charged with murder in connection with dead man found in car

Two people have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of 35-year-old Jeremy McDowell, who was found dead in the back of a vehicle in 1200 block of West 18th Street South in Newton on June 22.

According to a press release from the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, 50-year-old Jeffrey Stendrup of Clive, and Jaycie Sheeder, 24, were both arrested Wednesday, charged and are being held at the Jasper County Jail pending a bond hearing.

At 5:45 a.m. July 5, deputies searched the home of Stendrup, near the intersection of 22nd Street and University Avenue in Clive for evidence in connection with McDowell’s death. Deputies located Stendrup in his vehicle at the home and arrested him on charges of first-degree robbery, the release said. Stendrup remains in Jasper County Jail on a charge of first-degree robbery and a $100,000 bond in addition to the new charge of first-degree murder.

Assisting the deputies at the residence were the Des Moines Metro SERT team, Clive Police Department, West Des Moines Police Department and the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force.

Deputies also arrested Sheeder July 5 at a residence in Coon Rapids. Sheeder is also charged with being an accessory to a felony. She was released in July on a $2,000 bond but was taken back into custody Wednesday.

According to previous reports from the Newton Daily News, McDowell was allegedly killed with a baseball bat and found dead near Interstate 80 in Newton.

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.

According to court records, Stendrup's bond is set at $2 million, while Sheeder's bond is set at $1 million. The bond amounts were ordered by Judge Tom Mott during a court hearing with both suspects Thursday morning in Jasper County Court.

The Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office, Colfax Police Department, Jasper County Attorney’s Office and Jasper County Sheriff’s Office have conducted the investigation jointly over the past 2.5 months. According to officials, the case is ongoing, and law enforcement is asking for anyone with information regarding this case to contact the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.

Contact Orrin Shawl at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or at oshawl@newtondailynews.com

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