Public Safety

Victor rest stop homicide victim identified as Monroe man

Police continue investigation into Wednesday shooting

The rest area on Interstate 80 westbound at mile marker 208 in Iowa County on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
The rest area on Interstate 80 westbound at mile marker 208 in Iowa County on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
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MARENGO — Authorities on Thursday identified Ernest Kummer as the man who was shot and killed at an Interstate 80 rest stop early Wednesday.

The Iowa County Sheriff’s Office said Kummer, 60, lived in Monroe, a Jasper County city south of Newton and I-80.

Mariana Lesnic, 43, is accused of killing Kummer. Her home address is unknown.

Lesnic, charged with first-degree murder, is being held on a $1 million cash-only bond in the Iowa County Jail in Marengo. Her next court appearance is Sept. 16.

Iowa County deputies were called to the westbound rest area about 2:37 a.m. Wednesday, where they found Kummer dead from gunshot wounds inside his semi-trailer truck.

Kummer had worked as a driver for Copeland Trucking in Des Moines since 2010, the Newton Daily News reported.

Copeland manager Charlie Hoag told the newspaper that in the seven years he’s known Kummer, his friend never mentioned anyone named Lesnic.

“I was in a pool league with him,” Hoag said. “He was a good friend. We’re a small company so we don’t know people as just a trucker number.”

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According to Kummer’s neighbors in Monroe, Kummer did not associate with many people in the town of 1,830. But those who did said Kummer was always friendly.

The sheriff’s office said in a news release that it and Division of Criminal Investigation agents are working “at finding answers to this horrific crime” and what prompted the shooting.

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

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