116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / News / Crime and Courts
Police say Cedar Rapids man violently killed woman with board
Arthur J. Flowers, 62, charged with first-degree murder
CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man who called 911 on Saturday to report a woman's heroin overdose has been charged with bludgeoning her with a 1x6 board.
Officers were called at 6:06 p.m. Saturday by Arthur J. Flowers, 62, who reported that the woman overdosed at his home in the southeast quadrant.
Flowers initially attempted to leave when officers arrived but then took them to a bathroom where Emily Elizabeth Leonard, 22, of Cedar Rapids, was found with “obvious head injuries and blood spatter all over the bathroom,” according to a criminal complaint.
The woman’s clothing was in disarray, and a bloodied 1x6 board, which investigators believe is the murder weapon based on the woman’s head injuries, was found in the bathroom, the complaint states. Investigators said they found blood evidence from another area where she was likely killed and then moved.
The complaint is unclear whether she was killed in another area of the house or in a different place in the bathroom.
During an interview with police, Flowers said he was alone with Leonard, who he has known for many years, from Friday through Saturday when he called in the “heroin overdose,” according to the complaint. Flowers provided details about the incident that were not consistent with the crime scene, police said.
He also appeared to have blood on his hands and was wearing “what he described as” Leonard’s pants when officers arrived, the complaint states.
Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks was asked Sunday if this could be a possible sexual assault because of the victim’s clothing, but he declined to comment because the case still is under investigation.
Flowers has convictions for assaulting women by punching them and threatening to kill one woman while wielding a knife, according court documents. He also has convictions for harassment.
Leonard has previous misdemeanor convictions for drugs — marijuana and heroin.
During Flowers’ initial appearance Sunday on a charge of first-degree murder, 6th Judicial District Associate Judge Russell Keast set bail at $1.5 million cash or surety.
Comments: (319) 398-8318; email@example.com