Authorities in eastern Iowa are investigating the second murder in Marengo in less than two months. The Iowa County Sheriff’s office identifies the latest victim as 33-year-old Curtis Bailey. He was found dead inside his home near downtown Marengo early Sunday morning. Bailey’s common-law wife, 43-year-old Denise Frei, and two others are charged with first-degree murder. The other suspects, Jacob Hilgendorf and Jessica Anne Dayton, are both 19-years-old and from Belle Plaine.
Marengo resident Robert Lindsey spoke with KCRG-TV and said he enjoyed having Bailey as a neighbor. "He was a super neighbor. He used to come and bring me mushrooms during mushroom season. Anytime I needed help, he was always there," Lindsey said. "To me, he was really a good guy, a super guy." Other neighbors say Frei is Hilgendorf’s mother and Dayton is Hilgendorf’s girlfriend. Authorities did not confirm that information and have not said how Bailey was killed. An autopsy is scheduled for today.
Court records indicate Bailey served some jail time and a year of probation on a charge of domestic abuse in 2004. This is the second murder investigation in the Marengo area in recent weeks. Thirty-seven-year-old Tonch Weldon is accused in the June 7 shooting death of 35-year-old Amy Gephart.