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


A sheriff in western Iowa says local, state and federal authorities are “actively investigating” in rural areas after a woman claims her late father handled dozens of bodies of people he killed decades ago .

“We’re actively investigating this, and who wouldn’t?” Fremont County Sheriff Kevin Esttrop 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 dead bodies. Nothing.”


The search followed a Newsweek article quoting Lucy Study, who claimed her father, Donald Study, killed “50 to 70 people” a few years ago and that she helped deal with his love for Bodies in a well owned near Thurman, Iowa.

Lucy Study’s sister, Susan Study, later told Newsweek that her sister’s claims were not true. “My dad wasn’t who she made it to be. He was tough, but he was a protective parent who loved his kids… A tough dad didn’t just turn into a serial killer… I’m two years older than Lucy. I think I’ll know me Whether the father was murdered,” she told Newsweek.

CNN has reached out to Lucy Studey for comment.

“We only had one woman who came forward and told us a story about the body in the well,” Esttrop said. “We did bring in a couple of corpse dogs. The corpse dogs were in there or looking around the area and they did indicate it in the area. I wouldn’t say it was just above the well, but they did point it out in the area .”

Donald Study died in 2013, according to KETV.

“We will do what we can to prove or disprove a possible crime scene,” Esttrop said.

Esttrop told KETV that local, state and federal agencies were involved, including the Iowa Criminal Investigation Department and the FBI.

“They asked us to assist with the investigation with the FBI, and we would love to do that, you know, and work to provide the manpower and resources,” the assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations told KETV.

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

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