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  1. #1
    los2188's Avatar
    los2188 is offline North Carolina Tar Heels..your NCCA Champs!!
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    May 2012
    From Alaska, but living in Arizona

    IA - Paula Oberbroeckling, 18, pregnant, 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.

    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

    "When from a long distant past nothing persists, after the people are dead, after things are broken and scattered, still alone, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long, long time like souls, ready to remind us, waiting, hoping for their moment amid the ruins of all the rest, and bear unfaltering in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence the vast structure of recollection."

  2. #2
    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...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    There was a girl found on the hood of a car? In plain sight?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    New Orleans, LA
    Quote Originally Posted by scriptgirl View Post
    There was a girl found on the hood of a car? In plain sight?
    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.
    Last edited by OkieGranny; 04-12-2015 at 04:12 AM. Reason: fixed broken link

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Anytime a pregnant murder victim is involved ..... I instantly think of the fact that 20% of murders that involve a pregnant woman, involve the father. My first suspicion would be Lonnie Bell.

    The fact that she was involved with black men and it being 1970, it wouldn't be much of a reach to consider this made very well have played a part in why she was killed.

    There was an e-book written about her case, but it is no longer available. However, I have reached out to the author to see if I can snag it.

    Even after all these years ....someone always knows ....