Officials in western Iowa say the 23-year old case of a Council Bluffs woman whose body was found in a barrel is now officially closed, because the suspect is dead.
Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says 50-year old Thomas Tomich, the ex-husband of 28-year old Lois Tomich, killed himself just before sunrise this (Thursday) morning, by jumping off of a building in Omaha.
The couple married in 1980 and divorced in 1981, and records show they had a history of domestic violence. Lois disappeared just days before Thanksgiving, 1983. Bones found by mushroom hunters last May in a rusted out barrel north of Council Bluffs were identified as being hers during a press conference in Council Bluffs, Wednesday.
The 55-gallon barrel was three-quarters filled with heavy duty concrete. Authorities say it weighed more than 800-pounds, and could only have been moved with construction-type equipment. Tom Tomich worked in the construction industry at the time of his ex-wife?s disappearance. Autopsy results show the woman died by strangulation. A wire coat hanger was found around her neck in the barrel.