Iowa serial killer: Authorities investigate after woman says father was prolific killer


A western Iowa sheriff says local, state and federal authorities are “actively investigating” a rural area where a woman said her late father dumped dozens of bodies of the dead he killed decades ago.

“We are actively investigating this, and who wouldn’t?” Fremont County Sheriff Kevin Aistrope told CNN Affiliate KETV.

“We have a scene, but we don’t know if it’s a crime scene,” the sheriff told KETV. “We have no victims, no bodies. Nothing.”

The search followed a Newsweek article in which Lucy Studey was quoted as saying that her father, Donald Studey, had killed “50 to 70” people years ago, and that he helped dispose of the bodies in a pond on his property near Thurman, Iowa.

Susan Studey, Lucy Studey’s older sister, later told Newsweek that her sister’s claims were not true. “My father was not the man he pretends to be. He was strict, but he was a protective parent who loved his children… Strict fathers don’t just become serial killers… I’m two years older than Lucy. I think I would have known if my father had killed him,” she told Newsweek.

CNN has reached out to Lucy Studey for comment.

“All we have is a woman came forward and told us a story about bodies in a well,” Aistrop said. “We brought a couple of cadaver dogs. The dogs outside looked in there or looked around, and pointed in that area. I won’t say that it was on top of the well, but it was pointed out in that area.’

Donald Studey died in 2013, according to KETV.

“We will do everything we can to prove or disprove that there may be a crime scene,” Aistrop said.

Local, state and federal agencies are involved, including the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the FBI, Aistrop told KETV.

“We were asked to assist with the investigations and the FBI and we’re happy to, you know, and we try to provide the manpower and the resources,” the assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation told KETV.

CNN has reached out to the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation for more details.