UPDATE: Death of Iowa City cabdriver being treated as homicide

Police identify driver, seek information in case

Investigators work on the scene of a cabdriver's death at 520 Ernest St. in Iowa City on Wednesday, Jun. 28, 2017. A body was found in a Yellow Cab taxi. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — The death of a cabdriver discovered in his taxi early Wednesday is being investigated as a homicide, Iowa City police said.

Officers were called about 3:42 a.m. to 520 Ernest St. for a report of a driver slumped over inside a Yellow Cab.

Responding officers found the man, later identified by the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office as Ricky Ray Lillie of Iowa City.

Police did not disclose how he had died.

A fellow Yellow Cab driver told police he drove to the area to check on the welfare of the driver and found the driver in that slumped position.

Multiple police officers continued Wednesday to work the scene, which is about a half block west of the Alexis Park Inn.

The cab was parked near what an Alexis Park Inn employee described as an apartment building. Much of the area was cordoned off with police tape.

Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness and Clayton Schuneman, administrative director for the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office, also were on the scene Wednesday.

Iowa City Police Sgt. Scott Gaarde said the timing and location of the incident, as well as how the body was found, made the incident appear suspect. “At this point in time,” Gaarde said early in the day, “we’re still trying to figure out what we have.”

Gaarde said there did not appear to be any threat to the public at this time.

Anyone with information on the death or who believes he or she might have been a witness is asked to call police at (319) 356-6800.

Police said Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers will offer a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. CrimeStoppers can be reached at (319) 358-8477.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com