Des Moines police investigate city’s first homicide of 2016

Local News

DES MOINES – A 71 year old woman has been found dead in her Des Moines home, and her death is being investigated as a homicide.

The Des Moines Police Department has been investigating this scene since 4:30 Sunday morning. Initially, they came out here after a call about a suspicious death, but just a few minutes later they determined they were investigating the city’s first homicide of 2016.

“Right now, anything that’s here that doesn’t look like it belongs here is evidence,” said Sgt. Paul Parizek of the Des Moines Police Department. “So, we’ve started a long process of identifying things that just seem out of place. We’re just looking for anything that wasn’t here before.”

Police say they got a call from inside the home at 1413 Pioneer Road to check on 71-year-old Norma Jean McNeeley in the middle of the night.

Officers say a relative made the call after hearing a cry out from McNeeley’s downstairs bedroom. 

“We can’t discuss those details right now, but her death was violent,” said Parizek.

Detectives found around 100 drops of blood in the area around the porch, and stretching down the street from McNeeley’s home.  Police say McNeeley never left her house Sunday morning and died inside of it as well.

They spent the morning and afternoon interviewing potential witnesses, but say it’ll take a little while to put everything together.

“It’s a large crime scene,” said Parizek. “Evidence that we first saw at the home, we were able to follow quite a distance from the home. So, as they processed the scene, it took them to an area across the street.”

“At this time police have not named any suspects in McNeeley’s death, but they do say they have some solid leads,” said Parizek.

The Polk County Medical Examiner is now assisting with the investigation as well.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.