Homicide-probe documents released

Second search of home, car in Iowa City detailed in records

NOTE: This story was originally published Dec. 2, 1997.

Police seized pantyhose, numerous duct tape samples and plastic bags during a search of Frances Bloomfield's home on Sept. 27, five days after she was found dead in an Illinois ditch.

Bloomfield, who authorities say was strangled, was bound with pantyhose and wrapped in plastic that was bound with duct tape. Documents detailing the second search of the Bloomfield home and a car parked in the garage were unsealed Monday. They had been sealed 60 days by court order.

Iowa City police detective Ed Schultz declined comment on the items seized, which also included a love seat and linens, except to say that all were pertinent to the homicide investigation.

Investigators are not near an arrest in the case, Schultz said.

"There are more interviews to do, more evidence to be processed. It takes a long time," said Schultz.

Bloomfield, 57, of 38 Wakefield Ct., was reported missing on Sept. 22 by her husband John, who had just returned from a business trip.

Three days later Illinois authorities confirmed the body they had found Sept. 22 in a Rockford ditch was that of Frances Bloomfield.

One of the Bloomfields' cars, a red 1992 two-door Honda Accord, also was reported missing Sept. 22. Though investigators said as recently as last week that it had not been found, Schultz said he couldn't comment when asked about the car Monday.

During a search of the home on Sept. 22, investigators reported finding blood stains throughout the house and a drag mark that indicated Bloomfield may have struggled with her killer.

The Sept. 27 search yielded more than 30 pairs of pantyhose and 15 duct tape samples. The tape samples were taken from a variety of places, including downspouts and the back of a poster under a bed on the second floor.

Also seized from eight locations in the house were various plastic bags, as well as an empty box that had contained plastic bags.

Pillows, towels, clothing, glasses and a dental plate also were seized.

In searching the car in the garage, police found what appears to be evidence of Frances Bloomfield's trip to Minneapolis the week before her death. In addition to receipts from Minneapolis-area stores, there were several changes of clothing, medications, and toiletries.

Police also found a book, "How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt," in the car, along with a Courage Card catalog. Frances Bloomfield used to work at the Courage Center in Minneapolis, coordinating production of the Courage Cards that were sold to raise funds.

Also obtained Monday by The Gazette was a copy of the expense voucher John Bloomfield filed with the University of Iowa after his business trip. It indicates Bloomfield, a researcher with the Center for Computer-Aided Design, left on Sept. 13 for Marseilles, France, and was there from Sept. 14 to Sept. 19. According to documents, Bloomfield was at the "Vision in Vehicles"conference. The voucher indicates Bloomfield was in Albuquerque, N.M., on Sept. 21 for another conference not named in the documents. Bloomfield notes in the report that he returned early because of a family emergency.

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