Public Safety

What we know so far about Chris Bagley's death

Six arrested, but no one charged in death

Investigators, including the state medical examiner, work the scene in the 4000 block of Soutter Avenue SE in Cedar Rapi
Investigators, including the state medical examiner, work the scene in the 4000 block of Soutter Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids on Friday, March 1, 2019. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Latest update: April 10, 2019

More details of how and why 31-year-old Christopher Bagley of Walker was stabbed to death came out April 1 during a detention hearing in federal court.

Court documents reveal six people in connection to the Bagley investigation have been arrested for drugs, firearms and burglary, but not for his death.

Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner said the investigation continues.

Here’s a look at what is known so far in the case:

Bagley goes missing

• On Dec. 13, 2018, Bagley, a husband and father of two, left his home about 9 p.m. with a woman his wife didn’t know. He left his wallet and truck behind.

• On Dec. 17, his wife, Courtney Bagley, reports him missing.

Last place seen alive

• Early on Dec. 14, Bagley and the woman went to the mobile home of Paul Hoff at 7100 Mount Vernon Road SE in Cedar Rapids, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in January. The woman, who is identified in the warrant but faces no charges, said she last saw Bagley around 4:45 a.m. when she left the trailer and he stayed.

The woman told investigators Bagley and another man had been involved in robbing people in the past. One robbery victim may have been Bagley’s marijuana dealer, and she believed the dealer paid someone to harm Bagley because of their history.

• Logan Gerber, 29, of Marion, said he talked to Bagley about 3:32 a.m. the same day, the warrant shows. Bagley told Gerber he was on his way to Hoff’s and told him to be ready because he would need his help for the “grande finale.”

Gerber said he didn’t know what that meant but he thought Bagley was planning to rob someone, according to the warrant.

• Paul Hoff, 40, was the last person to see Bagley alive, according to the warrant. He said Bagley and the woman talked about “hitting” a drug house and “getting a good score.” Hoff said Bagley left his trailer between 7 and 7:30 a.m. Dec. 14. Later authorities find out Hoff isn’t completely honest about what happened to Bagley that day.

More from the warrant

During the investigation, authorities learned that Bagley was a “known drug user” who used marijuana and methamphetamine, according to that search warrant affidavit. Bagley also may have been selling marijuana and “was known to carry a gun.”

Authorities also learned of alleged threats made against Bagley and believed he was already dead and was “possibly murdered.”

Bagley’s body found

Bagley went missing for 76 days before authorities found his body March 1, Bagley’s body is found buried in a yard behind a home at 4069 Soutter Ave. SE. His body was unearthed from the frozen ground with the help of excavation equipment. The burial site was on the east side of a garage.

While the sheriff’s office didn’t immediately release identification to the news media, Bagley’s father, Stewart Bagley, confirms to The Gazette and other news outlets that the body is his son.

Bagley’s body is sent to the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny for an autopsy later that day.

Details of the autopsy released March 5 show Bagley died of “sharp-force injuries,” indicating he was stabbed by a knife or other sharp object.

Who’s linked to Bagley?

People with connections to Bagley have been charged but not in his death:

Logan Gerber, charged in February in U.S. District Court with possession of a firearm — a Glock 9 mm — by a drug user and possession of an unregistered 16-guage shotgun. He is accused of having methamphetamine, marijuana and the two firearms on June 9. Gerber pleaded not guilty on Friday and has a trial date set for May 20.

Paul Hoff, charged in March in U.S. District Court with two counts of possession of firearms by a felon and one count each of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, a complaint shows. Hoff pleaded not guilty and his trial is set for May 6.

Andrew Shaw, 30, charged March 27 in U.S. District Court for illegally having firearms as a drug user.

Darian Gossett, 22, of Cedar Rapids and Morgan Jordan, 26, of Marion were charged in February in Linn County District Court with third-degree burglary and assault, according to a complaint. Gossett pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to 20 days in jail. Jordan pleaded to third-degree burglary and received two years probation. She violated probation and last month received 30 days in jail.  

Gossett and Jordan were accused of breaking into a Marion apartment Feb. 27. They told police they thought their “missing friend Chris Bagley” lived there and they wanted to clean it up, according to a search warrant affidavit filed earlier this month.

Bagley didn’t live in the apartment, but court records show Drew Blahnik, who is in jail on drug charges, did.

Drew Blahnik, arrested a day before the burglary — Feb. 26 — is charged in Linn County District Court with possession with intent to deliver marijuana. He is also charged in federal court with possession of a firearm by a drug user. He is accused of using methamphetamine and possessing a Glock 22 .40-caliber handgun, and multiple rounds of ammunition on Feb. 25, according to an indictment.

Ryan Gebhart, 29, of Shellsburg, was charged April 5 with possession of a controlled substance. He told investigators he was working with Andrew Shaw, making THC gummy edibles, according to a search warrant.

Details revealed during federal court hearing

Bagley was confronted by Drew Blahnik and Drew Wagner, who hasn’t been charged, about his drug robberies from Andrew Shaw, an alleged large-scale marijuana trafficker in Cedar Rapids, investigators testified during Shaw’s detention hearing on April 1. Wagner and Bagley started fighting, and Blahnik stabbed Bagley, according to testimony. Both Wagner and Blahnik thought Bagley had a gun, they told authorities.

According to investigators, all men were involved in selling drugs, and Shaw was the supplier.

Blahnik and Wagner tell federal agents they loaded up Bagley in a vehicle and took him to Wagner’s home at 4069 Soutter Ave. SE, where they buried him in the yard.

Rumors are wrong

Larry Hanson Sr. of Fairfax told The Gazette that his son, Larry Hanson Jr., didn’t kill himself over Bagley’s death or leave a suicide note implicating possible suspects. That has been rumored throughout Fairfax and Cedar Rapids, Hanson said. Hanson Jr. didn’t know Bagley and only knew Blahnik from high school, but they were not friends as adults.

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