A 44-year-old Marion man jailed on one million dollar bond is accused of choking his mother to death last October, and then stowing her body in the trunk of her car. Police Records Clerk Renee Fenchel says police in the suburb of Cedar Rapids were asked by a friend of 62-year-old Linda Kowalsky to check into the disappearance of the missing woman.
Marion police issued an "Operation Quickfind" alert and talked with a number of people. As they did, it became clear nobody had seen the woman since at least Thanksgiving. They also discovered nobody had seen the woman’s red 1997 Ford Escort.
On Tuesday they found the woman’s car in a locked storage unit and called in the Division of Criminal Investigation. DCI agents recovered the woman’s body from the trunk of the car. Forty-four-year-old Troy Kowalsky, who’d been living at his mother’s home, came to the Marion police department on Wednesday to talk with police who’d asked him to come down. After they finished interviewing him, they charged him with first-degree murder.
Court papers show Troy Kowalsky told officers he’d gotten angry at his mother and grabbed her around the neck, choking her. The state medical examiner’s office conducted an autopsy this morning. The body was identified as that of Linda Lee Kowalsky, and the coroner says it appears she died of strangulation. Kowalsky appeared via a video link from jail before a judge a Linn County courtroom today.