12-03-2013, 12:40 AM #1
IA - Paula Jean Oberbroeckling, 18, Cedar Rapids, 11 July 1970
The murder of Paula Jean Oberbroeckling
Paula-Jean-Oberbroeckling.jpg Paula-Feb-1968-Seventeensmall.jpg Paula-Oberbroeckling-tombstone-for-Case-Summary.jpg
In the summer of 1970, Cedar Rapids resident Paula Jean Oberbroeckling was 18 years old. A beautiful girl with long blonde hair and blue eyes, she taught developmentally disabled children and worked at Younker’s Department Store in Lindale Plaza.
Paula went on a date Saturday night, July 11, 1970 with boyfriend Lonnie Bell. They later came back to Paula's residence arguing. According to a relative of Paula's, Paula had been upset because she thought she was about 1-1/2 months pregnant with Bell's child and she suspected that Bell wanted to end the relationship. After Bell left, Paula asked to borrow Debbie, her roommate's, car. After getting the car keys, she walked out the door and said, “I’ll be right back.” But Paula never back came home.
The next day, Debbie's vehicle was located near the Eagle Food Store on 14th Street only 2 miles east of where Debbie and Paula lived. There were no signs of a struggle, no signs of any harm. It was thought that Paula may have left on her own accord...until November 29th, 1970.
On the 29th of November, a father with his 2 sons discovered a body near the Cedar River about six miles from Paula’s and Debbie’s apartment. When law enforcement arrived, they found the decomposed remains draped around a steel pin in the ground. The body — hands and feet bound with clothesline rope — in a light blue dress like the one Paula was described as wearing. A piece of rope lay on the ground nearby. The cause of death was unknown due to the condition of the remains, but foul play is heavily suspected.
During an interview by police of Lonnie Bell, Lonnie told police Paula had been writing to a "colored" subject by the name of John Strayhorn, who lived at the Hawthorne Hills apartments. When police visited the Hawthorne Hills apartments that same day, was told by the manager that no one named John Strayhorn rented an apartment there. It was also stated that Paula had previously had a "colored" boyfriend by the name of Robert Williams, but that they’d broken up some time ago.
Despite a number of theories about Paula Oberbroeckling’s death, her case remains unsolved.
12-03-2013, 05:48 PM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Jun 2013
I lived in Cedar Rapids for a few years and vaguely remember hearing about this unsolved case. There are a couple of unsolved murders of young women in Cedar Rapids (one was found on the hood of an abandoned car, another was murdered in the parking lot of Westdale Mall) that are intriguing.
As far as this case goes, I would hope foul play is "heavily suspected" considering her feet and hands were bound...
03-13-2014, 09:37 PM #3Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
There was a girl found on the hood of a car? In plain sight?
03-14-2014, 12:20 AM #4
IA IA - Maureen Brubaker Farley, 17, Cedar Rapids, Sept 1971 - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community
On Friday, September 24, Kevin Coppess, 15, of 2357 Blakely Blvd. SE, and Danny Lineweaver, 14, of 2350 Blakely Blvd. SE, gathered their rifles to go hunting. Sometime between 5 and 5:30 p.m., they’d just crossed the river on the railroad trestle and were headed up Ely road when they saw a junk car in the ravine. They hadn’t noticed it from the road due to the trees and other foliage. Lying across the trunk, with one leg propped up and the body lying against the rear window on its back, they saw what they believed to be a woman sleeping. The lady wore clothes, but no shoes.
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