Iowa Police Believe They Cracked Cold Case Murder from 2 Decades Ago

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Iowa Police believe they have cracked a cold case murder from over two decades ago, according to reports. Council Bluff police announced last Friday that they arrested a 52-year-old Montana man and are seeking first-degree murder charges against him in the 1999 slaying of his stepsister, Kimberly M. Ratliff, the department said in a statement. 

Authorities say that the suspect, Matthew Kennedy, a resident of Fairfield, is believed to have been living in Council Bluffs at the time of the killing. He was taken to Teton County Jail and was later transferred to Chouteau County Detention Center in Montana, where he is pending extradition to Iowa. The courts indicate that formal charges have not yet been filed against him. 

Ratliff was 22-years-old when her body was found over two decades ago on Jan. 12, 1999 with her throat slashed in the front seat of her car, according to Omaha World-Herald.

At the time of her death, Ratliff lived with her mother and stepfather, Joyce and Leslie "Les" Kennedy, the outlet reported. Ratliff, Joyce, and Matthew all apparently worked together at Airlite Plastic Co. in Omaha, the outlet reported.

Investigators said they believe Ratliff was murdered at another location –– mentioning that little blood was found in the car, nwestiowa reported. Ratliff was reportedly last seen four days earlier. 

In 2016, the Council Bluffs Sgt Chad Meyers said that detectives were "suspicious" on who killed Ratliff but didn't have enough evidence at the time to definitively say when she was murdered, according to the outet. However, in 2016 Meyers said that DNA technology was improving, allowing smaller samples to be analyzed.



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