August 12, 2016

AGE: 21 | DIED: JULY 4, 1975 | Location: Des Moines

A young woman’s badly decomposed body was found in the trunk of a tan 1966 Rambler in a parking lot at Southwest 20th and Porter near the Des Moines airport on Thursday, July 10, 1975. The body was later determined to be 21-year-old Diane Marie Schofield.

An autopsy indicated Schofield died of strangulation. Her body was found fully clothed in a green halter top and blue jeans, but with no shoes. Her hands were tied behind her back and her feet bound with twine near the ankles. She’d been strangled with a strip of knotted cloth. The body showed no other apparent signs of violence. Based on evidence and witness accounts, investigators believe she was killed sometime after 9 p.m. Monday, July 7.

Police said robbery didn’t appear to be a motive because Schofield still wore her $200 watch and several turquoise rings. The 1966 Rambler in which her body was found, was registered to the victim.

She was last seen alive shortly after 9 p.m. Monday, July 7 at the Apco Service Station, 2324 Forest Ave. An attendant at the station said Schofield bought cigarettes and mentioned she was going to be late for work. Schofield had been employed as a waitress and as a masseuse at several massage parlors in Des Moines. Her last place of employment was the tavern Dave Salem’s Foozin’ ‘n’ Boozin’.

Police records showed Schofield, a divorced mother of a five- year-old daughter, was sentenced in January 1975 to five years in the Women’s Reformatory for carrying a concealed .22-caliber pistol but was placed on probation. She’d been arrested on the charge the previous April. The attorney who represented Schofield in her concealed weapon charge said she told him that she’d been asked to be some type of informant relating to drugs. Officers connected with Schofield’s investigation said they’d had no knowledge of her being an informant.