Northeast Iowa pair charged in murder-for-hire plot

Woman had given man a weapon to carry out the crime

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Two people were arrested Monday for allegedly plotting to kill someone.

Officials believe 32-year-old Malissa R. Farmer hired 35-year-old Daniel S. Padgett to kill her ex-husband Richard. Cresco investigator Richard Hollenbeck said police received a tip from a man on Thursday.

“He had information that they [Farmer and Padgett] were still carrying out this plan,” Hollenbeck said.

Hollenbeck believes the man was approached by Farmer to aid her in the plan to murder her ex-husband, but the man refused and contacted authorities. Officials believe Farmer had been planning to murder her ex-husband since mid-December.

“She did have a plan put into place, what needed to be done, how and by a certain time,” Hollenbeck said.

Authorities said Farmer had obtained a weapon and planned to give it to Padgett. A weapon was reported stolen from a residence in Howard County in early January, and is related to this case, Hollenbeck said. He was unable to provide specifics on the weapon.

Officials said Farmer had briefly moved out of Iowa, but moved back to Cresco in December, and Padgett, who “moves around a lot,” arrived in Cresco sometime in January. Farmer and Padgett reportedly were renting a residence in Cresco. Authorities were not sure if the two were living with each other, but they were arrested together.

Hollenbeck believes Farmer and Padgett are the main conspirators in this case, but the case remains under investigation.

“There is a sense of shock at first, could this really be happening?” Hollenbeck said. “But you have to keep an open mind and realize everything is possible.”

Farmer could face a felony charge of solicitation to commit murder, as well as a related second-degree theft charge. Her bond has been set at $15,000. Padgett could face a felony charge of conspiracy to commit murder, and is being held on a $10,000 bond.

Farmer and Padgett remained in the Howard County Jail as of Wednesday morning.

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