IA IA - Paula Oberbroeckling, 18, pregnant, Cedar Rapids, 11 July 1970

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by los2188, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. los2188

    los2188 North Carolina Tar Heels..your NCCA Champs!!

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    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.

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  3. TroyinTX

    TroyinTX Member

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    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...
  4. scriptgirl

    scriptgirl Active Member

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    There was a girl found on the hood of a car? In plain sight?
  5. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    IA IA - Maureen Brubaker Farley, 17, Cedar Rapids, Sept 1971 - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community

  6. My3LilKittens

    My3LilKittens Cat Whisperer

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    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 ....

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