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Suspect arrested in connection to Altoona homicide in August 2022

43-year-old Marique Ruth, of Altoona, is charged with murder in the first-degree for allegedly killing 41-year-old John Killen.

ALTOONA, Iowa — One person has been arrested in connection to an August 2022 homicide, according to Altoona police

43-year-old Marique Ruth of Altoona is charged with murder in the first-degree for allegedly killing 41-year-old John Killen.

The arrest comes seven months after officers responded to the 2200 block of 3rd Avenue SW to find Killen deceased with multiple gunshot wounds on Aug. 10, 2022. 

According to court documents, Ruth and Killen were in a relationship for less than a year and living together when the shooting occurred. Before shots were fired, the two were arguing about finances and relationship issues.

Police said Ruth admitted to shooting Killen a total of four times, and he did not threaten her or have a weapon on him when she shot him. She also admitted to choosing not to use her cell phone to call for help.

All individuals at the house at the time of Killen's death cooperated with authorities. 

Following a joint investigation conducted by Altoona police, the Polk County Attorney's Office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the case was reviewed by Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird, who approved the charge against Ruth. 

Ruth is now being held in Polk County Jail

"The Altoona Police Department would like to extend our sympathy to John's family," Lt. Alyssa Wilson said in a press release. "While this arrest will not bring back their loved one, we hope they will find justice in the arrest. We thank them for their patience an cooperation throughout this investigation."

Local 5 will update this story as more information becomes available. Download the We Are Iowa app or subscribe to Local 5's "5 Things to Know" email newsletter for the latest.

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