Public Safety

Murder-suicide identified as causes of death in Iowa City case

Police investigate suspicious deaths at 86 Aniston St. in Iowa City on Wednesday, Sept. 16. (Lee Hermiston, The Gazette)
Police investigate suspicious deaths at 86 Aniston St. in Iowa City on Wednesday, Sept. 16. (Lee Hermiston, The Gazette)
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IOWA CITY — The deaths of two people found inside an Iowa City home have been determined to be a murder-suicide.

Police said their investigation showed that Floyd L. Rush, 49, shot Latoya P Smith, 45, several times with a handgun and then shot himself.

Officers were called to 86 Aniston St. in Iowa City around 8:35 p.m. Sept. 15 after concerned family members went to the residence and saw Smith lying on the bathroom floor, according to an Iowa City police news release,

Using interviews, cellphone data and information from the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office, police determined the deaths happened sometime between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sept. 15.

Rush was arrested for domestic assault causing an injury or mental illness following an incident in November 2018. Though not the victim in the case, Smith was named as a protected party, according to court records.

Police were called to the home for a welfare check around 6:13 p.m. Sept. 15 when Rush didn’t show up for work. Capt. Denise Brotherton said an officer went to the home and did not get an answer at the door.

“At the time, we didn’t have enough to go around and search the home,” Brotherton said. “We didn’t have any additional information besides he didn’t show up for work.”

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Smith’s death is the second homicide investigation in Iowa City this year. Kejuan Winters, 21, was shot and killed at 1960 Broadway St. on April 20 during a robbery. Three men face first-degree murder charges in that case.

Iowa City police were assisted in the investigation by the Johnson County Attorney’s Office and Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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