Ila Mae Clark was found beaten to death in her Marshalltown, Iowa home on August 29, 2001. An autopsy
showed the 73-year-old died from multiple head injuries.
Clark managed a seven-unit apartment complex where many residents paid cash. About $500 was missing from
Clark’s home, which was located less than 100 yards from the apartment building and showed signs of forced
entry. Officials believe robbery was the motive for the attack.
No fingerprints or DNA were found, and no suspect has ever been named in the case.
Assistant Police Chief Brian Batterson — a former detective who worked the original case — said in an August
2011 interview with the Times-Republican that there had been some suspicion of a couple staying at a nearby
hotel on Iowa Avenue, but police had been unable to find evidence connecting them to Clark’s slaying.
The day after the murder, one member of the couple suddenly left for Louisiana, Batterson said. Police learned
through interviews with others that the person had been “freaking out” and wanted to leave Marshalltown
Batterson felt the person’s car may have been involved in the crime, and obtained a search warrant. Local
officials in Louisiana did not immediately act on the warrant, however, and the vehicle was involved in a
rollover accident just a few days later.
Because of the accident, much of the forensic evidence was unusable due to the mangled vehicle and blood
from the accident.
One half of the couple has since died, but as of 2011, the other still lived in Marshalltown but consistently
refused to speak with police.
A Fareway receipt found in Clark’s purse placed her at the store at 5:21 p.m. on Aug. 28, so police knew she’d
been alive at least 24 hours before her body was discovered.
Given the amount of traffic in the area, officials believe Clark was murdered sometime after dark that same
evening, or before sunrise the next day.
Batterson said crime scene details indicated that at least two individuals were in Clark’s home, and that a third
party may have waited outside in a getaway car. A confrontation with the intruders may have led to Clark’s
death, Batterson said.
Persons with information or tips should contact Marshall County Crime Stoppers at 641-753-1234, online at
www.marshallcountycs.com or by Text Message to 274637 (CRIMES) and start your text message with
“Marshall” followed by your tip. All tips are anonymous and cannot be traced.