A man was accused of killing his wife days after her lifeless body was seen floating in the Des Moines River. Gregory Showalter, 51, turned himself in to law enforcement officials on Tuesday morning.
Family members of his wife, Helen, 60, reported her missing on July 31. She was last seen walking away from a car near a park in rural Wapello County, Ottumwa police said in a statement. The woman did not carry any medication with her, although she suffered from medical conditions, according to authorities.
The next day, a person walking by the river found her remains.
Officials investigating the death considered it ‘suspicious’.
Neighbors were startled to hear that Helen’s body was found in the river.
‘When I heard she was missing, I thought something is not right,’ neighbor Heliodoro Basilio told KCCI. ‘She’s always going somewhere and coming back all the time. A real nice person.’
Another neighbor, Samantha Lipp, told the TV station that Helen was ‘was well known, especially being a crossing guard… My kids loved her’.
Gregory faces charges of first-degree murder and being a felon possessing a weapon.
Both Gregory and Helen have criminal records. Gregory was convicted of unlawfully carrying weapons and marijuana possession as recent as 2018. He also has several traffic and moving violations and was cited for leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving. He was convicted of failing to restrain his dog in 2001.
Meanwhile, Helen was charged with keeping dangerous animals and several traffic and moving violations.
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