This is a weekly feature highlighting some of Iowa’s unsolved homicides in the hopes that it will lead to new tips and potentially help solve cases. The project is a partnership between this newspaper and other members of the Iowa Newspaper Association.

CEDAR RAPIDS — Brian Lee Schappert, a 22-year-old Coe College senior, was killed in the early morning hours of Friday, Sept. 8, 1989, while working the midnight shift alone at a Cedar Rapids Kum & Go convenience store. Schappert’s throat was slashed and he also sustained numerous stab wounds to his back during a robbery at the 2743 Mount Vernon Road SE store.

Schappert’s body was found at 3:15 a.m. by a cab driver stopping to buy gas. Witnesses told police they saw a white male in his 20s, about 6 feet tall and 170 pounds, with shoulder-length, dark brown hair in the area shortly before Schappert’s body was found.

Cedar Rapids Police also had one crucial lead: a witness placed a van at the store near the time the murder occurred. Police checked on more than 400 such vans registered in the area, but admitted the van driver could simply have been making a delivery at the store.

Schappert’s father believes his son was acquainted with his killer. Two weeks before the murder, Brian had been promoted to assistant manager and given the combination to the store’s safe, his father said. His body was found near the convenience store’s open, emptied safe.

Anyone with any information about Brian Schappert’s unsolved murder is asked to contact either Capt. Mellgren or Special Agent Smith at (319) 286-5619, Linn County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-CS-CRIME (319) 272-7463 or the Iowa DCI at 515-725-6010.

Find out more about this and other unsolved homicides at

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