The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

State News

April 3, 2014

Cause of car fire linked to developer a mystery

IOWA CITY — The cause of a fire that destroyed the car in which a prominent Iowa developer was found dead days after leaving prison remains a mystery, an investigator said Wednesday.

Agents with the Iowa Fire Marshal’s Office have found no real evidence in the burned-out Honda Accord where Bobby Joe Knapp’s body was discovered Sunday in rural western Iowa, said Special Agent in Charge Ron Humphrey. By the time investigators arrived, the fire had long burnt out and left the 1994 Honda Accord a scorched shell, with the glass gone and some of the metals burned off.

Authorities are looking into what caused Knapp’s death and the fire that consumed the vehicle, where Knapp’s body was in the backseat.

Knapp left a federal prison in Minnesota on March 25 after serving about 2½ years for environmental violations related to a conspiracy to mishandle the removal of asbestos during a renovation of the landmark Equitable Building in downtown Des Moines. He borrowed a friend’s car the next morning, saying he was going to check in with his parole officer in Des Moines. Knapp never returned, and his disappearance set off searches by local, state and federal authorities before a farmer checking his land found the vehicle and body.

Police have said Knapp told his parole officer that he was planning to harm himself. His friend, Neil Henderson, said Knapp remained bitter about the prosecution that sent him to prison and confused about how he would make a living now.

Humphrey confirmed that investigators are looking into whether Knapp had any involvement in the massive fire early Saturday that destroyed the historic Younkers building in downtown Des Moines, which was undergoing a $36 million renovation a block from the Equitable Building.

“We are looking into that to either rule him out or prove that he did do it. At this point, we have no concrete evidence one way or the other,” he said. “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out he had connections to the downtown area.”

Text Only
State News
  • Advocates hope for broader medical marijuana law

    A narrowly focused medical marijuana law just took effect in Iowa, but advocates are already looking to see how they can expand access to the drug for the chronically ill.

    July 27, 2014

  • Foreman calls Iowa murder case a 'slam dunk'

    The foreman of a jury that convicted an Iowa man of killing his pregnant wife says the prosecution's case was a "slam dunk" even if the investigation had flaws.

    July 25, 2014

  • Iowa panel sued for rejecting Cedar Rapids casino

    Former Linn County Attorney Eugene Kopecky has sued the Iowa Racing Gaming Commission over its rejection of the proposed Cedar Rapids casino.

    July 25, 2014

  • Chicago Violence [Duplicate] Chicago authorities charge man in child's death CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago teenager accused of shooting dead an 11-year-old girl was aiming his gun at members of a rival gang when a stray bullet struck the girl as she was making s’mores during a sleepover, police said Thursday.At a news conference t

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • GOP Rauner's ad used made-up headlines SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A campaign ad from the Republican candidate for Illinois governor is being called into question for tailoring — and even making up — headlines from news stories to make them appear more negative about his opponent.Businessman

    July 25, 2014

  • Illinois woman, 47, dies rescuing boy in Wisc. lake ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — Friends and family are mourning the death of an Illinois woman who drowned while rescuing a 9-year-old boy in a Wisconsin lake.The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports 47-year-old Karen Wessel of Arlington Heights d

    July 25, 2014

  • techel.jpg Iowa man convicted of killing pregnant wife

    A former volunteer firefighter who hoped for a career in law enforcement was convicted Thursday of killing his pregnant wife, as jurors in his third trial rejected his claims that an unknown intruder shot her.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • RAGBRAI rider from Sioux City dies in Mason City

    A RAGBRAI participant from Sioux City has been found dead in his tent in Mason City in the second death during the weeklong bicycling event.

    July 24, 2014

  • Deliberations resume at Iowa man's murder trial

    Jurors will be allowed to review the video, but not the transcript, of an Iowa man being interrogated as they consider whether he's guilty of murder in the death of his pregnant wife.

    July 24, 2014

  • Health insurers owe Iowans nearly $1.8M in refunds

    The federal government says insurers owe Iowans nearly $1.8 million in refunds because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act.

    July 24, 2014

Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Poll

Should the city of Clinton appeal the open records violation ruling that will cost taxpayers $40,600?

Yes
No
     View Results
AP Video
Featured Comment
Front page
Featured Ads
Local Radar
Blue Zones Project
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Front page