As investigators piece together the circumstances that led to the deaths of six people in Iowa City Monday, neighbors of the victims are expressing shock. Joseph Triplett lives in the quiet neighborhood on Iowa City’s east side, where police discovered the bodies of Sheryl Sueppel and her four children in their home.
It’s believed Steven Sueppel died behind the wheel of the family’s van, which crashed and burst into flames along Interstate 80. “It’s something you don’t necessarily expect out of these neighborhoods,” Triplett said, “but I guess it proves to you that stuff can happen anywhere.”
The parents of the Sueppels released a statement saying that relatives saw “nothing unusual” while spending time with the family over the Easter weekend. Sabrina Kelly of Iowa City says she’s having a hard time coming to grips with the deaths of the children, ages 3, 5, 7, and 10.
“I didn’t know what to think or what’s going on,” Kelly said, “it’s frustrating because I have five children of my own.” Police have not said how Sheryl Sueppel and the children died. Autopsies are being conducted today.