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
Monday, June 27, 2011
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

Murder Charge Levied against Thomas Petersen

Allison, IOWA --- Today, law enforcement charged 39 year old Thomas Petersen, of Greene, Iowa with Murder in the First Degree, a Class A Felony.

Thirty-six year old Judy Renee Petersen was found dead in her home at 508 North High St. in Greene, Iowa on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at approximately 9:56 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, Thomas Petersen. 

Iowa law enforcement tracked Mr. Petersen to South Dakota.  At approximately 8:20 AM on Sunday, June 5, 2011 South Dakota law enforcement encountered Petersen near Kadoka, South Dakota.  During the encounter, Petersen fled and through the course of the pursuit, he rammed two different law enforcement vehicles before being taken into custody. The Petersen's two year old child was recovered unharmed.

Through the course of the investigation of the death of Mrs. Peterson, officers recovered knives consistent with Mrs. Peterson’s wounds, as well as bloody clothing that belonged to Mr. Peterson.  Investigators also learned that Mr. and Mrs. Peterson had a history of conflict.

On June 5, 2011 the State Medical Examiner determined that Mrs. Peterson died of multiple stab wounds.  The manner of death was classified as homicide.

Mr. Peterson is currently being held in the Winner City Jail in Tripp County, South Dakota on charges related to the pursuit on June, 5, 2011.  South Dakota officials will execute the arrest related to the First Degree Murder charge in Iowa.  Bail is set at $500,000.

Click here to view a copy of the complaint and affidavit.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Butler County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa Attorney General’s Office continue to investigate the events of June 4-5, 2011.

It should be noted a criminal charges is merely an accusation and all suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


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

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