Relatives of a 35-year-old Council Bluffs woman found dead in the Missouri River in May tearfully pleaded for the public’s help Friday during a news conference in Council Bluffs.
Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber opened the event by announcing the results of the autopsy on Tracy Tribble’s body. “The state medical has concluded that Tracy Tribble was the victim of homicide, with the most likely cause of death being asphyxsia,” Wilber said. “She suffered multiple blunt-force injuries including at least three separate injuries to her head which are inconsistent with an accidental death.”
Tribble was reported missing May 6th. Fourteen days later her body was found, floating in the Missouri River, halfway between Council Bluffs and Omaha. “Tracy’s parents would like me to remind you that there’s a $75,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Tracy’s murderer,” Wilber said.
Tracy’s mother, Mary Gostomski, and Betty Thomas, the dead woman’s aunt, spoke with reporters, and often broke down in tears. “We were here three months ago today to report her missing to the Council Bluffs police…She was my only child. I miss her so much,” Tribble’s mother said, before she began sobbing. “She was so full of life, so full of life,” Tribble’s aunt added.
Betty Thomas then composed herself, and continued. “This shouldn’t have happened to her,” Thomas said. “She did not deserve to die this way.”
Authorities have described Tribble’s husband, Stan, as a person of interest in the case. He was to go on trial on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge next Tuesday, but Tribble has waived a jury trial and will stand trial in front of a judge, prompting a delay in the case. Stan Tribble has told investigators he and his wife had an argument the night she disappeared.
The county attorney says Tracy Tribble was killed sometime after 10:45 p.m. on May 2nd, perhaps in the early morning hours of May 3rd. “We would appreciate any assistance from the public in obtaining information relating to her death,” Wilber said. “Specifically, we are particularly interested in hearing from anyone who may have seen suspicious activity on any of the bridges across the Missouri River in the early morning hours of May 3rd.”