A man kidnapped his girlfriend and with the help of another person bound her with duct tape and strangled her before dumping her body in an Iowa pond, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Law&Crime.
The Iowa County Sheriff’s Office responded on Feb. 18 to a report of a body found in a pond at 220 Trail and 38 Avenue in Amana. The person was identified as 20-year-old Melody Hoffman. An autopsy determined the preliminary cause of death was by strangulation. She also suffered from stab and slash wounds throughout her body.
Detectives discovered by talking to witnesses and tracking her movements through data from her iPhone and Apple Watch that Hoffman’s boyfriend, 23-year-old McKinley Louisma, picked her up at 11 p.m. on Feb. 17. Investigators believe he took her to Morgan Creek Park in Linn County. It was at the park where her Apple Watch recorded her heart rate intensify before it either stopped or the device was deactivated, detectives wrote.
Louisma allegedly admitted to cops that he and an unnamed person bound Hoffman’s wrists with duct tape, as she begged them to let her go. Louisma and the other person beat Hoffman and then strangled her, the affidavit said.
They then allegedly placed her in the trunk of his car and drove her around to several locations. Louisma said he ripped off her clothes and dumped her body in the pond. Cops recovered a phone case, an Apple Watch with blood on it, a bungee cord, towing rope and clothing matching what Hoffman was wearing the night she died, according to the affidavit.
Hoffman and Louisma were dating, but he also was intimate with another woman, detectives said. Cops did not name the other person involved in the crime and it’s unclear if they have arrested the person.
“The defendant reportedly stated that if investigators were to ask the other individual what happened, the other individual would probably put the blame on him,” cops wrote in the affidavit.
Deputies arrested Louisma on first-degree kidnapping charges and conspiracy to commit a forcible felony. Prosecutors have yet to file murder charges. Louisma is being held at the Linn County Jail without bond. Records with the Iowa Department of Corrections show Louisma was on probation.
Hoffman’s family said in a Facebook post that a memorial fund will be set up at Collins Community Credit Union.
“Melody was a sweet caring young lady who had the biggest heart,” her family wrote.
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Author: David Harris
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