Former Iowa City resident Bloomfield formally charged in wife's death

Arraingment on first-degree murder charge now set for Jan. 3

John Bloomfield. (Johnson County booking photo)
John Bloomfield. (Johnson County booking photo)

A trial information document filed this week alleges John Bloomfield struck his wife in the head and strangled her with a ligature before wrapping up her body and dumping it along a road in Illinois.

By filing the trial information, the Johnson County Attorney's Office formally charged Bloomfield, 73, formally of St. Paul, Minn. with the 1997 murder of his wife, Frances Bloomfield. Bloomfield is scheduled to be arraigned on the first-degree murder charge on Jan. 3, 2014. His attorney, Leon Spies, has previously indicated his client would plead not guilty.

Frances Bloomfield, 57, who lived at 38 Wakefield Court in Iowa City, was reported missing Sept. 22, 1997, by her husband John, then a researcher at the University of Iowa’s Center for Computer-Aided Design. Three days later, Winnebago County, Ill. authorities found a body bound with pantyhose and wrapped in plastic and duct tape in a ditch near Rockford.

Authorities believed Bloomfield had been strangled in her Iowa City home. Court documents released in 1997 revealed investigators who responded to the Bloomfield home found blood stains in two bedrooms on the second floor of the home, as well as a mark that indicated Bloomfield was dragged through the hallway. Her car was later discovered at Newark, N.J., International Airport.

John Bloomfield told authorities he was in the Chicago area returning from a business trip at the time of his wife’s death. However, police said Bloomfield was unable to sufficiently account for the time when he would have been driving. Authorities now say they have DNA and hair evidence connecting Bloomfield to the murder.

Bloomfield moved from Iowa City shortly after his wife’s death and had been living in St. Paul, Minn. before being arrested in November. Spies said his client did not remarry and has been battling yet-unspecified health problems.

The trial information includes a list of more than 50 potential witnesses that could be called, many of them current and former Iowa City Police officers.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Bloomfield would spend life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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