WARREN COUNTY, Iowa — “I was just sitting there, watching TV, and I smelled smoke,” said Janet Michael of rural Norwalk. “I thought, oh my God, one of the trailers (is) on fire or something.”
It was Saturday night, July 30th, 2011. The home of Bill and Kay Wood was ablaze. Michael, who lives nearby, remembers that night well.
“I came outside and walked down the stairs and you could see the flames, and they were as high as the trees,” she said.
Fire destroyed the house, located just south of Des Moines’ city limits. The next day, Bill’s body was discovered among the charred remains of the home. Autopsy reports showed Bill died of multiple gunshot wounds. Kay was never found.
“I can’t believe they haven’t found her and they haven’t found what happened,” said Michael. “You know, it’s really sad. Seven years, I mean, you’d think they’d have more information than this, you know?”
That’s a frustration shared by Bill’s granddaughter, Sarah Warywoda.
“You go through every emotion, every scenario,” said Warywoda. “I mean, I’ve thought about every single possible scenario. I still do. My family still does…we want to know, we want to know what happened.”
The same day Bill’s body was found, his red Chevrolet Silverado pickup was discovered at an apartment complex in Kansas City, Missouri. Witnesses told detectives they’d seen a man with the truck. Investigators described that man as a “person of interest” and said they wanted to speak with him.
Meanwhile, Bill’s granddaughter is speaking out now in the hopes of generating new leads in this mysterious case.
“I want the public to know and understand that this is still not solved that we still need help finding answers,” said Warywoda. “That what might seem like something small and insignificant could be exactly what we need to get the answers we still don’t have.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 515-961-1122 or the Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Investigation at 515-725-6010.