Iowa City police today charged a former Iowa City man with the 1997 murder of his wife. Iowa City officers, with the help of local police, arrested 73-year-old John Richard Bloomfield today on a warrant for first-degree murder at his home in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Iowa City police spokesperson, Sergeant Vicki Lalla, says the investigation started when the former U-I researcher called them 16 years ago. “On September 22nd about 6:30 in the morning, John Bloomfield called to report that he had just returned from an out-of-state business trip, and when he returned that his wife was not there,” Lalla says. He told police their Iowa City home had been burglarized and the family car was missing.
Lalla says the body of 57-year-old Frances Bloomfield was found at 4 p.m. that same day. “Frances Bloomfield was found in a ditch along a roadway in Rockford, Illinois,” Lalla says. Frances Bloomfield’s body was bound and wrapped in plastic. Their car was found in November in an airport parking lot in New Jersey.
Lalla says there were no arrests at the time, but the case was not totally forgotten. “Well technically, a murder case remains open until it has been solved. But as time goes by and leads drop off…it does become what has been termed a cold case,” she explains. Lalla says the department does have an investigator that keeps up on the cold cases. “As a result of his work and technological advances since 1997, they were able to connect John Bloomfield (to the death) through DNA and file the murder charge,” Lalla says.
That new forensic technology allowed investigators to find John Bloomfield’s DNA on some of the material used to bind Frances Bloomfield. John Bloomfield is being held in St. Paul awaiting extradition to Iowa.