March 4, 2016

AGE: 38

DIED: AUGUST 26, 1960

Hometown: Des Moines

Body found: Chariton

On Monday evening, August 29, 1960, Dorothy Coon was found dead in a ditch alongside a county road in Lucas County, about 12 miles north of Chariton. Her body - clad in a dark green dress and white shoes - was discovered by a farmer mowing weeds. Her purse was found one mile away. The gravel road was a shortcut to Coon’s parents’ farm east of Chariton. Authorities said Coon had been dead two or three days before her body was found.

Preliminary reports showed no wounds on Coon’s body, but authorities noted there were bruises on the throat area and fractured neck bones indicating she may have been strangled. Officials conducted a careful search of weeds and bushes along a mile of roadside ditches near where Coon’s body was found, but the search failed to provide any significant clues to her murder. Heavy rains over the weekend may have washed away or covered up footprints, tire tracks or other clues involving in her slaying.

Coons was a department store business office clerk and divorced mother of two teenaged children. Coon and her ex- husband, Richard Coon, had divorced 10 years earlier after Richard left Dorothy to be with another woman. Richard Coon would not pay child support or alimony, but continued to occasionally meet up with his ex-wife in Des Moines. Richard eventually married the woman he left Dorothy to be with, and he and his new wife relocated to Albia the year before Dorothy Coon’s murder. Richard Coon was questioned in his ex-wife’s murder, but said he was home that evening with his new wife and her son. Polygraph test results were inconclusive.

Anyone with information about Dorothy Coon’s unsolved murder is asked to contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010, email, or contact the Des Moines Police Department Detective Bureau at (515) 283-4864.