Insurance may not go right to family

Company petitions to bypass estate of murdered woman

NOTE: This story was originally published May 11, 1999.

The company that provided life insurance for a slain Iowa City woman is asking to deposit the $100,000 benefit with a court designee rather than directly with her family and estate.

Unum Life Insurance Co. of North America, based in Maine, states it will subject itself to multiple and conflicting claims if it pays Frances Bloomfield's primary beneficiary, according to a petition filed in Johnson County District Court.

Bloomfield, 57, of 38 Wakefield Ct., was reported missing by her husband, John, when he returned home from a business trip on Sept. 22, 1997. Her body was found two days later in a ditch near Rockford, Ill. Authorities said she was strangled, most likely in her own home. There have been no arrests in the case.

John and Frances Bloomfield were insured by Unum when John Bloomfield worked as a researcher at the University of Iowa. In its petition, Unum names John Bloomfield, the Bloomfields' sons Stuart and James, and Frances Bloomfield's estate. The company asks that it be allowed to deposit the $100,000 with the clerk of court or with another court designee and be released from further obligation under the insurance policy. The company also asks that it be reimbursed for money it has spent on an attorney.The attorney for Unum, Matthew Petrzelka of Cedar Rapids, could not be reached to elaborate on what kind of claims the company anticipates if it pays the $100,000 directly to the family.

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