Decatur County Journal
March 29, 1906

Outline of the Evidence Heard Before the Coroner's Jury Thursday of Last Week:

MISS LIBBIE GARRETT, aged l8 years, daughter of MR. and MRS. A.M. GARRETT, of south Leon, died Thursday morning of last week under circumstances that caused the coroner to hold an inquest. The evidence is given before the coroner's jury goes to reveal the following:

Some time ago, the deceased discovered that she was to become a mother and confided in her parents. She named GUY UNTHANK, who had been keeping company with her, as responsible for her condition. UNTHANK was in Kansas City at this time and MISS GARRETT, accompanied by her father, went to Kansas City and returned accompanied by UNTHANK. It is said he had proposed treatment in a sanitarium in that city. UNTHANK was ill and was taken to the home of his brother-in-law, J.W. DELK, upon his arrival here. MISS GARRETT was engaged by MRS. DELK as a domestic and assisted in caring for the patient. She remained there until Tuesday morning of last week when she went to the home of her parents. She was seized with convulsion about twelve o'clock that day and Dr. J.W. Greenman was summoned and shortly afterwards, Dr. H.R. Layton was also called. Their skill was unavailing as also the efforts of Dr. Woodmansee who was called late in the afternoon. She lingered through Wednesday, death resulting early Thursday morning.

The physicians in charge thought the case unusual and Dr. F.A. Bowman, Coroner of Decatur County, was notified. A coroner's jury composed of Geo. E. Hurst, W.A. Boone and Gould Wallace was empaneled and the evidence of various witnesses taken. At the conclusion of the hearing the following verdict was agreed upon:


At an inquest held at Leon, Decatur County, Iowa, on the 22nd day of March, l906, before F.A. Bowman, Coroner of said Decatur County, State of Iowa, upon the body of LIBBIE GARRETT there lying dead, by the jurors whose names are hereto subscribed.

The jurors upon their oaths do say: We do find that said deceased came to her death by causes unknown; and we further do find that she came to her death feloniously and that a crime has been committed on the deceased, and that-----is the name of the person whom the jury believe has committed it.


Attested by Fred A. Bowman, Coroner of Decatur County, Iowa.

The funeral was to have been held Thursday afternoon at 3 o'clock but it was delayed for some time by the coroner who had decided upon further investigation.

A post mortem was held by Dr. Bowman, Layton, Greenman and Foxworthy and various organs, including the stomach, were removed and forwarded to State Chemist C.N. Kenney, at Des Moines, for the purpose of finding if medicine containing poison had been given to or taken by the young woman in an effort to produce an abortion.

The state chemist report has not been received as yet. It is a most unfortunate affair and the bereaved parents have the sincere sympathy of our people.

Copied September 5, 2001
Nancee (McMurtrey) Seifert

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