Walker body identified, ruled homicide

Hogan charged with first-degree murder

Officers from Linn and Buchanan Counties and the Division of Criminal Investigation work the scene where a woman's body was found several hours earlier on Linn-Buchanan Road northeast of Walker on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)

The death of a woman found near Walker has been ruled a homicide.

According to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, the State Medical Examiner said that 29-year-old Crystal M. Gaffney died as a result of blunt force trauma. The father of Gaffney’s young child, 36-year-old Shaun M. Hogan, has been charged with first-degree murder in the woman’s death.

Both Gaffney and Hogan are from Waterloo. Authorities have not said how Gaffney’s body wound up in Linn County, where Hogan was charged. He is being held without bail and will make his initial appearance Friday morning.

Investigators were called to Linn-Buchanan Avenue around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday for a report of an unresponsive woman found in the road. Responding authorities found the Gaffney fully clothed, lying in the gravel road with multiple, unspecified injuries.

Later that day, an Amber Alert was issued for Gaffney’s three children. The three girls were later found in Waterloo, police said. Hogan was named a suspect in their disappearance and authorities said he was considered dangerous.

Earlier in the day Thursday, Sheriff Brian Gardner said Hogan was a person investigators were interested in speaking with in relation to the death investigation. Officers with the Waterloo Police Department and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation took Hogan into Waterloo Thursday afternoon and interviewed him.

Gardner said Gaffney and Hogan’s relationship at the time of her death is not currently known. However, the two were scheduled to appear in court together. According to onlline court records, Hogan filed a petition for relief from domestic abuse involving Gaffney on June 30. A hearing on the matter was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

First-degree murder is a Class A felony punishable by up life in prison.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@sourcemedia.net