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Okland murder case still unsolved, new probe launched

Adding a glimmer of hope to the long, drawn out case, new details have emerged in the Ashley Okland case that could finally bring the family and community closure.

Adding a glimmer of hope to the long, drawn out case, new details have emerged in the Ashley Okland case that could finally bring the family and community closure.

Young Realtor murdered

On April 8, 27 year old Realtor Ashley Okland went to work at a model home and was fatally shot. For weeks, Des Moines police had no suspects, hundreds of leads, and simply continued a search for a “scruffy man” reported leaving the scene and have only alluded to their belief that the murderer was another Realtor.

Despite four search warrants issued weeks ago, there have been no arrests, and no suspects despite the reward for information rising to $75,000, a record high for local Crime Stoppers.

Realtor connected to Okland found dead

In May, the woman who found Okland and called police reporting the murder called her mother claiming she was going to kill herself in a hotel, police prevented the suicide and closed the
case and days later, a missing persons report was filed for her. She has since been found to be safe.

Now, according to the Des Moines Register, Realtor Joseph Kruse, 52, who was questioned in the Okland murder but who Okland’s sister says was cleared and is not involved, was found dead in his car on the two month anniversary of Okland’s death.

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The death is being investigated as a suicide and Des Moines police are investigating whether or not the deaths are connected and are not commenting as to whether or not he was every listed as a suspect. Okland’s family says that although Okland and Kruse knew each other, there is no connection, “It didn’t have anything to do with that because the West Des Moines police investigated that. They tested the ballistics,” Okland’s sister said. “Joe killed himself. He was having financial problems. And he was upset about Ashley.”

A community in recovery

Okland’s death has created a deep wound in the Des Moines community, specifically in the tight knit real estate community. One person attempted suicide, another succeeded, and without closure on the case and no named suspects, the community struggles to recover from the loss of Okland and now Kruse.

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  1. Joe Loomer

    June 28, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Truth is certainly stranger than fiction in this tragic case.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

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