116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Two 16-year-old Fairfield students face murder charges in connection with the death of a high school Spanish teacher at the school they attended, authorities said Thursday.
Willard Noble Chaiden Miller and Jeremy Everett Goodale, both 16, are accused of killing Nohema Graber, whose body was found Wednesday in a park in this town of just under 10,000 people in Jefferson County.
Graber, 66, was reported missing Wednesday morning and her body was found hours later, officials said. The park where Graber taught and the high school are a few blocks apart.
Graber had taught at Fairfield High School since 2012, and previously taught in the Ottumwa school district. She graduated from Iowa Wesleyan and graduate school at the University of Northern Iowa.
Miller and Goodale will be prosecuted as adults. Both are accused of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder. Additional details were not immediately released and it was unclear whether either had made initial court appearances.
Fairfield High Schools dismissed classes at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, but kept the building open to staff and students who wanted to meet with support personnel.
At 11 a.m., Graber's friends met at Central Park to pray for her.
"Law enforcement would like to thank the public for their tips and concern following the announcement of Graber's disappearance," officials said in a news release. "Law enforcement does not believe there is an ongoing risk to the public."
Iowa State Education Association President Mike Beranek urged extra support and care for students in the Fairfield district as well as Graber's family and colleagues.
"An act like this is unspeakable, and we are torn that one of our education family is a victim to such a senseless act," he said. "Every day educators work tirelessly to protect the students in their care. With full hearts and deep commitment, educators have been the backbone of our state and our nation during this unprecedented time. We cannot understand this, or any violence aimed at such guardians."
This is a developing story, check back later for updates.