IA Marlene Ruth Padfield, Cedar Rapids, February 19, 1959

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Legally Bland, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. Legally Bland

    Legally Bland Well-Known Member

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    Marlene Padfield via Lisbon High School Yearbook

    The 17-year-old was last seen alive February 19, 1959. Marlene Ruth Padfield of Lisbon had gone to the Kozy Inn restaurant in Cedar Rapids with Arthur Scott, Jr. the evening before. They left shortly after midnight. Her partially clothed body was found on a dirt road west of Mt. Vernon on April 29, 1959. An autopsy was conducted, but the results were never announced due to the ongoing investigation. Padfield had hoped to become an actress and had moved to Cedar Rapids to chase her dream. Only around 15 people reportedly attended her funeral.

    Disappearance/Murders of Five Cedar Rapids Teens Still Unsolved

  2. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    March 18, 2010 · Dave Morris rbbm
    Lisbon leaders hope to shed light on unsolved case of Marlene Padfield - Mount Vernon - Lisbon Sun -
    "There always have been more questions than answers in the murder of 17-year-old Marlene Padfield back in February 1959, and Beryl O'Connor and Bob Hill of Lisbon are determined to get to the bottom of the unsolved case."

    Much of the following information is summarized from facts collected from old newspaper stories and through the non-profit Iowa Cold Cases.)

    "• Marlene Padfield, a 17-year-old budding actress, had dropped out of Lisbon High School after having trouble fitting in. According to Iowa Cold Cases, Marlene "exuded a maturity that allowed her to pass for much older." She had starred in the 1958 junior play at Lisbon and after dropping out and finishing her education with correspondence courses, began acting in community theater in Cedar Rapids.

    • She was employed - often reporting her age as 21 - as an elevator operator, department store clerk and receptionist.

    • Her father, Hammond Padfield, was employed at the Wilson packing plant, and her mother worked at a Cedar Rapids furniture store. Marlene had three siblings.

    • On the night of Feb. 18, 1959, and into the early hours of the 19th, after a late night meet at Cedar Rapids' Kozy Inn, located on First Avenue at 10th Street, she left with a young man who was a local actor. Here, the story becomes unclear. Purportedly, the young man was to drop her off at the old Armar Ballroom, located on the edge of Cedar Rapids and Marion. Whether she actually arrived there or not is anybody's guess. No one came forward to say one way or the other.

    • Marlene was reported missing shortly thereafter when her employer telephoned her parents to say she hadn't reported for work.

    • On Feb. 22, 1959, according to Iowa Cold Cases, "three young boys playing along Mount Vernon Road (Old Highway 30) near the Big Creek Bridge found a woman's coat and sweater, which Marlene's mother identified as her daughter's.

    "Authorities organized a search party of 100 to comb the area around the bridge and near the entrance to Camp Good Health (now Camp Tanager). Nothing was found.

    "Despite the discovery of her clothing, local law enforcement and the community seemed to tacitly agree that Marlene had a shady reputation, was likely to act on whimsy and probably ran away on her own. The story of her disappearance quickly faded."

    • When local farmer Roy White was traveling on a dirt road south of old Hwy. 30 between Mount Vernon and Cedar Rapids on April 29, 1959, he saw a group of dogs carrying bones, including a human hand. After stopping, he found a skeleton along the road that had been dragged from a nearby woods. It was later identified as Marlene Padfield's remains."
    The Aspiring Actress: Murder of Marlene Padfield 1959 - Iowa Unsolved Murders: Historic Cases
  3. Jim_M

    Jim_M Well-Known Member

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    Back in the days where LE believed nearly 'everyone' was a runaway. I have no links so all is JMHO, but we have read so often about waiting 24 hours for the 'runaway' to show up/return.

    It saddens me to hear the opinions about this young woman's reputation. It saddens me more to learn of her demise.

    May she RIP and her killer burn in [that other place]
  4. jb9672

    jb9672 Member

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    well if they had some way to do dna and other testing maybe they could find out more as to what happen to her
    Legally Bland and dotr like this.
  5. joejs89

    joejs89 Active Member

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    The last person determined to have seen her alive was noted to have scratches on his face, hired a lawyer and refused a polygraph. Strange...
    dotr, Legally Bland and Wild Rose like this.
  6. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] Added by Carla Swieter Ramey & Rober
    Added by amy abramson

    Marlene Ruth “Mickey” Padfield (1941-1959) - Find...
    ''An autopsy was done on Padfield's body, but the results have never been released, because they are part of the files of what is considered an ongoing investigation. Stuelke referred to the files on the case as "voluminous."

    "They were not able to ascertain a cause of death at the time," Stuelke said.

    Stuelke is supportive of the renewed interest in the case and encourages anyone with any information to come forward.

    "Fifty years is a long time to have memories," said Stuelke, who's not yet 50 himself. "But we'd be more than happy to follow up on it."

    Padfield, who left Lisbon High School before graduating to work and pursue acting roles in Cedar Rapids, was reported missing around Feb. 18, 1959. Her partially clothed, decomposing body was found about three miles west of Mount Vernon in late April that year. Foul play was suspected, and there were several suspects, but the case remains unsolved.

    Following the Sun's March 18 story, the wife, daughter and son of the late Harry Ackerman, a Linn County Sheriff's Department detective who investigated the 17-year-old's death, spoke with O'Connor and Hill to share their recollections.

    Hill contacted Stuelke for advice on what it takes to reopen a cold case. Stuelke visited with Hill for a couple hours last week in Lisbon.

    "He said murder cases are never closed," Hill said. "It's on the sheriff's radar."

    Hill said he was told to continue seeking publicity, both local and wider, to try to shake loose someone who can provide a crucial memory or bit of evidence that would provide a basis for further investigation.

    "We don't know if a suspect's alive or not," Hill said.

    O'Connor noted that a Facebook page will be set up for anyone interested in the case.

    "It bothers me that there might be people in town who haven't come forward," she said.

    "We hope someone cares," Hill added. "If we can find where (Marlene Padfield's) mother went, where the siblings went … We're wondering why they left town." (Marlene's father died in 1961; information about her mother is unknown.)

    "There was a lack of compassion," said O'Connor, who hopes the passage of more than 50 years might be enough to prompt someone who was either responsible for Padfield's death or who knew key details to come forward.

    Regardless, Hill and O'Connor know that as time passes, the odds of finding a person still alive with a clear memory of the events are getting slimmer.

    "It would be interesting to know how the dad died (just two years after Marlene died)" and obtain more information about the family, Hill said. "We don't know if it was a blended family or not."

    With the case unsolved, it technically is still open, with information from investigative files not open to the public, Hill noted.

    "They did their work. They just didn't have enough (evidence)," Hill said.

    Added O'Connor: "Whoever it is … we may never know. There could be 15 endings to this."

    Wrapped into the larger mystery of Padfield's death are many smaller ones, such as how the young men who served as pallbearers were selected, why the family left town and Padfield's apparently rocky relationship with her classmates. Plus, there are the mysteries of the current whereabouts of many of those young people she associated with in Cedar Rapids after dropping out of Lisbon High School to work and pursue acting roles.

    For now, O'Connor and Hill are considering how an official law enforcement investigation could proceed if there were fresh evidence. Their thoughts range from utilizing the resources of a college criminology class to what could be learned if the victim's body were exhumed.

    When meeting with the family of Detective Ackerman, Hill and O'Connor, who is the director of the Lisbon History Center, were given a copy of Dell's Front Page Detective magazine from February 1960. It offers a detailed, sometimes setsationalized re-telling of the case. Titled "Where Suspicion Walks The Streets," it tells of suspects taking and refusing lie detector tests, a dubious confession by an already jailed rapist in Davenport and it re-creates dialogue from when Marlene Padfield's body was found.
    Mysteries, details and developments

    A short article from the front page of the Mount Vernon Hawkeye Record/Lisbon Herald in May 1959 reads:

    Funeral services for Marlene Ruth Padfield were conducted at the Lisbon Methodist church on Saturday, May 2, at 2 p.m. with the Rev. Eugene Miller, the pastor, in charge. Mrs. Frank Rhoads was organist.

    Casket bearers were Marlin Fisher, Peter Radl, Ralph Zahorik, Francis Bolton, Robert Lang and Robert Short. Interment was in Cedar Memorial Park. Arrangements were by Baxter Mortuary.''
    joejs89, Luckyzmom and Legally Bland like this.

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