Tri-state Effort May Solve Case of Belle Rive Body

Tri-state Effort May Solve Case of Belle Rive Body
By: Carly O'Keefe
Jefferson County, IL - An apparent homicide in Iowa Friday and two suspects in custody in Virginia may help solve the case of a burnt body found near Belle Rive Saturday.

"We ascertained there were three people of concern that were reported missing and had been in the house or had ties to the house,” said Davenport Police Captain David Struckman.

Steven Dietz, William Smith and Charles Nixon were missing from what police call “a gruesome scene” of an apparent homicide in a Davenport, Iowa home. Investigators in Iowa then began a search that lead cross-country.

"We received a call from detectives in Davenport who advised that through cell phone records they had located an address here in [ Sussex] County, and they were convinced we might be able to find these suspects,” said Sussex County, Virginia Sheriff Steward Kitchen.

Sussex County deputies located Nixon’s car, along with two of the missing men. Nixon was not among them.

"The victim was killed in davenport, and his body was discarded somewhere else,” said Kitchen.

After receiving word of a body found burnt in Belle Rive Saturday morning, Davenport police began to suspect that "somewhere else" may have been in Jefferson County . Working together, authorities from the three different states began piecing things together.

"We don't have every piece, but the pieces we do have we think are matching up very well with what's been supplied from other agencies," said Sheriff Roger Mulch of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

Davenport investigators traveled to Jefferson County Wednesday to compare evidence from the crime scene in Iowa to evidence collected with the burnt body in southern Illinois.

"First we want to make sure the victim they have is the body we have and to do that the best way is through forensic evidence,” said Mulch.

Mulch says investigators plan to compare DNA and dental records to positively identify the body. DNA testing takes four to six weeks to complete, so authorities aren't saying the case solved quite yet.