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
Thursday, July 11, 2011
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

Thomas Petersen in Iowa, Initial Appearance Scheduled

Allison, IOWA --- Today, 39 year old Thomas Petersen of Greene, Iowa was transported back to Iowa in order to face First Degree Murder charges. Petersen is now being held in the Butler County Jail. His initial appearance before a judge is scheduled for 8:15 AM on Friday, August 12, 2011.

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.

For more than two months, Petersen was held in South Dakota on charges stemming from his encounter with law enforcement there. Petersen initially chose to fight extradition to Iowa, but eventually abandonded the effort in early August.

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.

On Monday, June 27, 2011 law enforcement charged Thomas Petersen with Murder in the First Degree, a Class "A" Felony.

First Degree Murder Complaint and Affidavit

First Degree Murder Trial Information

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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