Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  DCI Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

Cause of Death Determined in Greene, Iowa Investigation

Greene, IOWA --- The State Medical Examiner’s Office has completed its autopsy on Mrs. Judy Renee Petersen of Greene, Iowa.  The cause of death was determined to be multiple stab wounds.  The manner of death is classified as homicide.

Thirty-six year old Judy Petersen was found dead in her home on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at approximately 10:00 PM.  Soon after, an AMBER Alert was issued for her missing 2 year old son, Jacob Petersen.  Law enforcement believed Jacob was in the company of his father, 39 year old Thomas Petersen. 

At approximately 8:20 AM on Sunday June 5, 2011 South Dakota law enforcement encountered Petersen five miles south of Phillips, South Dakota on State Highway 73.  During the encounter, officers employed a Tazer to subdue Petersen and take him into custody.  South Dakota authorities continue to hold Petersen in South Dakota on charges stemming from his encounter with law enforcement on Sunday morning. 

The missing child, two year old Jacob Petersen was with Mr. Petersen when he encountered law enforcement.  Jacob was unharmed and safely recovered by officers.

The investigation into the death of Judy Petersen continues through the efforts of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.


Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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