Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  DCI Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
December 9, 2016 amurphy@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

Man Charged with Murder in Tama County Cold Case

TAMA COUNTY, Iowa – In March of 2015, the investigation into the April 2000 disappearance of Cora Okonski, 23, was reopened by the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). 

Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agents with significant experience working cold cases, working in conjunction with the Iowa Attorney General's Office, Tama County Sheriff's Office, Tama Police Department and Tama County Attorney's Office concluded Okonski's disappearance was not voluntary.

Through interviews and additional discoveries, the case was classified as a homicide investigation. Agents traveled extensively throughout the country conducting multiple interviews of key witnesses relevant to the investigation.  Their findings were submitted to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office and the Tama County Attorney’s Office. 

Upon review of the report, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office and the Tama County Attorney’s office convened a grand jury to review evidence and testimony.  A grand jury returned a True Bill indictment on Tait Otis Purk, 50, for the crime of Murder in the First Degree in violation of Section 707.2(1) of the Code of Iowa.

If convicted, Murder in the First Degree carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole.  

Media contact: Iowa DCI Special Agent in Charge Richard Rahn at (563) 370-5109


Tait Otis Purk, 50

 

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

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