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Murdered Iowa Citians' car investigated

Police detective says items observed offer no great value to Bloomfield case

NOTE: This story was originally published Dec. 12, 1997.

Investigators took floor mats, a piece of plastic, hairs and a few other items from Frances Bloomfield's car, court documents indicate.

However, none of the items was of great value to the investigation into Bloomfield's death, said Iowa City police detective Ed Schultz. He declined further comment.

Bloomfield, 57, was reported missing Sept. 22 by her husband, John, when he returned from a business trip. Three days later, authorities in Winnebago County, Ill., confirmed that a body found in a Rockford ditch was that of Bloomfield.

She had been strangled, bound with pantyhose and wrapped in plastic that was secured with duct tape.

Her car, a red 1994 Honda Accord, had been missing until Nov. 25, when officials at the international airport in Newark, N.J., notified Iowa authorities that the car was in a long-term parking lot there. The car was taken to a lab in Des Moines on Dec. 5 and searched on Monday.

Floor mats were taken from the front passenger area of the car, as well as the rear floor area, according to the return on the search warrant filed Thursday in Johnson County District Court.

Investigators took the piece of plastic from the rear floor area as well, though documents do not indicate if it is the same kind of plastic in which Bloomfield was wrapped.

Hairs were seized from the console area of the vehicle and a card with instructions to use the car's defogger was taken from the glove box. Investigators made prints of the tire tread and also lifted a white substance, unidentified in documents, from above the driver's door.

The spare tire cover was taken from the trunk, according to the search warrant, and investigators vacuumed the front, rear and trunk areas of the car looking for evidence.Wade Kisner, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agent who conducted the search, was unavailable for comment Thursday.

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