Public Safety

Month later, few answers in Browning homicide

Authorities say longtime UI budget executive was stabbed

IOWA CITY — Roughly 100 interviews have been conducted during an investigation into the killing of JoEllen Browning, police said Friday.

Four weeks after the longtime University of Iowa hospital budget executive was found stabbed to death in her Iowa City home, the homicide investigation continues and no arrest has been made.

“The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Iowa City Police Department are continuing to investigate this case,” police said in a statement Friday evening. “Approximately 20 agents and investigators have been involved in conducting upwards of 100 interviews.”

Police said they are awaiting lab results from evidence at the scene.

Browning, 65, was found April 4 inside her home at 114 Green Mountain Drive after authorities responded to a medical call. The Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office determined she died as a result of sharp force injuries.

According to police, that call for service is categorized as “unconscious/fainting.” Iowa City police Sgt. Derek Frank said he could not disclose who made the call for help.

Numerous other details about the case remain undisclosed at this time, including:

l Do police believe Browning’s attack was random or that she was targeted?

l Has a weapon used in her killing been recovered?

l Were there signs of a break-in at the home?

Frank said those questions are related to the investigation and he could not comment.

“Investigators are discussing all aspects of this case, including the sharing of information with the public, and are making conscious decisions about how they are proceeding,” the Friday statement said. “This is all done to build the strongest case possible and not jeopardize their efforts.”

Frank said Friday that investigators are following the evidence and not concerned that an arrest has not yet been made.

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“Every case is different,” he said. “Some are wrapped up quickly. Others, not so much.”

Browning was the longtime director of operating budgets for UI Health Care, according to her obituary.

The case is under investigation by Iowa City police and the Iowa DCI.

Authorities previously have asked anyone with information about the case to contact the police department at 319-356-5276 or Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers at 319-358-8477.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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