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Bellevue Girl Murdered


Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 3/3/2009 at 00:20:10

Maquoketa Sentinel-Press
May 17, 1980

Bellevue Stunned by Peters Murder

The body of a rural Bellevue teenager, Jill Annette Peters, 15, was found Thursday morning near a farm lane south of Peosta. She had been reported missing Wednesday evening when she failed to return from jogging.

Dubuque County Sheriff officials said Thursday night Peters was the victim of an ‘apparent homicide’ but refused to say how the teenager died. Dubuque County officials are being joined by Division of Criminal Investigation in investigating the death. An autopsy was ordered to determine the cause of death.

The Bellevue girl was found by Clarence Turnis, rural Peosta farmer at 11 a.m. Thursday when he was enroute to a farm field to work.

The body was clad only in socks and was found among weeds along the farm lane just off Dubuque County Road, Y-21, one mile south of Peosta. A preliminary autopsy report indicated she was strangled but not sexually assaulted.

Sheriff officials said the girl was reported missing Wednesday evening from the home of her parents, the Paul Sieverdings. She had left a note saying she was going jogging after school.

Mr. Sieverding said Friday morning he learned of the death Thursday but declined to comment further.

“I’m sorry, I don’t want to talk about it,” said Sieverding.

Reaction to news of the teenager’s disappearance and death was summed up by Marquette Principal Father Donald Bruggeman. Jill was a freshman at the parochial school in Bellevue.

“We’re absolutely stunned. The community is in shock over the news of Jill’s death,” said Bruggeman Friday morning.

The school administrator described the victim as a ‘tall, extremely beautiful girl.’

“She had a very bubbly personality. Her death is a shock!”

Bruggeman described Peters as very active not only in school but in the community. As part of extra-curricular work at Marquette she became involved in volunteer work at a Bellevue nursing home.

“People loved her there. They must be very sad. Jill was concerned about people. One lady dressed up special on the days that Jill visited the nursing home.”

Marquette students gathered for a special prayer service when news of Peter’s death was learned.

The Marquette freshman was active in athletics and other school events according to Bruggeman.

She is one of five children of the late Joseph ‘Joe’ Peters, long time Iowa Highway Patrolman who died of cancer in Bellevue in 1967. Peters was stationed in Bellevue for several years.

Authorities Seek Information

The Dubuque County Attorney’s office Friday morning released a physical description and photograph of Jill Peters to the news media.

Dubuque County law officials are asking anyone having seen such a person after 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 14, to contact the Dubuque County Sheriff’s office at 583-1717 or the Bellevue City Police at 872-4545.

An autopsy indicates that the cause of death was strangulation, according to a county attorney office spokesman. The final lab test results will not be available until next week, the spokesman said.

Jill Peters was described as a white female, about 15 years old, five-foot five inches tall. She had light brown, shoulder-length hair.


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