A retired farmer from southwest Iowa did what dozens of lawmen couldn’t do early this morning, he got the jump on an escaped criminal and shot him dead in his kitchen.
The drama began Friday, when 38-year-old Rodney Eugene Long jumped the fence at a state prison in Clarinda.
Long allegedly shot a Taylor County deputy late Sunday and a manhunt ensued. Mitch Mortvedt, special agent-in-charge with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, says Long broke into the rural Bedford home of Jerome and Carolyn Mauderly about 10:15 last night, some 45 minutes after the elderly couple had gone to bed.
“He forced entry into their residence and awoke them and it was a non-confrontational situation throughout the next four hours,” Mortvedt says. “We know that he was in the residence for approximately four hours and that he was armed with a semi-automatic handgun the entire time.”
Mortvedt says the couple was held “against their will” for hours and the suspect, Long, cut off communications. “He had disabled their phones,” Mortvedt says. “He had used their cell phone on a couple of occasions and as the situation wore on, a decision was made by the Mauderlys that they were going to defend themselves.”
Shortly after 2 o’clock this morning, a 9-1-1 call came into the Taylor County dispatch center from Carolyn Mauderly that the suspect had been shot. A state trooper was on patrol nearby and arrived moments later.
Mortvedt says, “At that time, as the trooper made entry into the residence, they found Rodney Long lying face down on the kitchen floor, he secured the situation and obviously checked on the wellbeing of Mr. and Mrs. Mauderly.” Jerome Mauderly is 71 and his wife is 66. Neither of them were hurt in the incident.
Mortvedt says the exhaustive manhunt involved law officers from 22 agencies from Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. Mortvedt says, “Throughout the search starting Sunday night after the pursuit ended, there were 16 square miles and at least 75 documented searches of residences in that neighborhood.”
He says the Mauderly home and surrounding property had been searched at least three times. The Mauderly home is about three-quarters of a mile from the area where Long crashed a patrol car he’d stolen after the confrontation late Sunday. The law officer who was shot Sunday night, Taylor County Sheriff’s deputy Dan Wyckoff, is still hospitalized in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.
Mike Peterson, KMA, Shenandoah also contributed to this story.