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Andrew Ronald, Isaac, Rachel Voss 1972-2008


Posted By: cheryl moonen (email)
Date: 11/8/2017 at 00:20:40

Andrew Ronald Voss, Isaac Andrew Voss and Rachel Lucille Voss: Father, 2 children found dead in garage Family tragedy in Jackson County

Father, 2 children found dead in garage Family tragedy in Jackson County

Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, IA) - Friday, February 22, 2008
ST. DONATUS, Iowa - The news spread quickly in this tiny, close-knit village Thursday - a father and his two young children had been found dead in their home just outside of town.

The bodies of Andrew Ronald Voss, 35, and his son Isaac Andrew, 4, and daughter Rachel Lucille, 19 months, were discovered in the garage of Voss' house at 34844 296th Ave. late Wednesday by a Jackson County Sheriff's Department deputy on a welfare check. Voss' estranged wife, Kelly, notified the sheriff's department when the children were overdue in their return to her after visiting their father.

Authorities were tight-lipped Thursday about the circumstances surrounding the deaths. Sheriff's vehicles blockaded the driveway to the one-story brick house on a wind-swept hill between La Motte and St. Donatus. More details about how and when the three died are expected later today after autopsies, scheduled to be performed by the state medical examiner at 9 a.m.

Jackson County Sheriff Russ Kettmann said Kelly Voss called for a welfare check on Wednesday morning. A deputy arrived at Andrew Voss' locked house about 5:30 p.m. and, looking in the garage windows, saw the bodies.

"You could tell right away they were dead," said Kettmann, who soon arrived and immediately called the county medical examiner and state investigators. When the team was assembled, about 8 p.m., they entered the garage and house to start three hours of investigation.

It was decided to leave the bodies in place overnight and remove them after daylight. They were taken to Ankeny to the headquarters of the state medical examiner. Kelly Voss was told of the deaths Wednesday night and met with investigators Thursday. She lives in Illinois with family members, Kettmann said.

There were several calls from Kelly and her attorney to the sheriff's department throughout the day Wednesday. In fact, after the first one, in the morning, a deputy headed out to the site. Because rural address signs were obscured by snow drifts and details given him were sketchy, the deputy checked the wrong residence, a nearby trailer, according to Kettmann. Finding nothing amiss, he returned and spoke to County Attorney Phil Tabor, who advised that Kelly should contact her attorney to start civil action against Andrew Voss for not returning their children on time.

Kelly Voss' attorney then called the sheriff's department and again asked for someone to check on the children's welfare. At that time, another deputy offered to head in that direction. He knew where Voss lived and, checking the garage, found the bodies, Kettmann said.

Kettmann said that from what he could determine, it would not have made any difference in the final outcome if the bodies had been found earlier in the day, although he would not elaborate.

It was not the first time deputies had been called to the Vosses. There had been previous calls on domestic disturbances, although none that resulted in violence, Kettmann said. Several months ago, the sheriff was called to be on hand as Kelly removed her possessions from the house.

Thursday, Kettmann was at the site for most of the day, keeping warm in his squad car and fielding media interviews. He could not remember the last time three people died in the county in a single incident other than a vehicle accident.

Although authorities would not confirm whether the deaths were due to accidental circumstances or were a murder/suicide, Kettmann stressed that the situation did not represent a threat to anyone in the community.


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