The family of a rape and murder victim in Dubuque has released a statement saying they “will never understand the brutality.” On Thursday, police identified the victim as 66-year-old Nancy Krapfl. Nineteen-year-old Helmon Betwell of Dubuque is in custody, accused of raping and beating Krapfl to death on Tuesday.
Dubuque Police Lieutenant Scott Baxter told KCRG-TV that Betwell had been breaking into vehicles in the area where Krapfl was out for an early morning walk. Baxter said there’s no indication the Betwell was impaired by alcohol or drugs. “At this point, it just looks like a horrendous act of aggression and hate,” Baxter said.
Betwell told officers he did not know the victim and stated “she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Baxter calls the case “sickening” and hard to fathom.”It’s scary that a human being could do this to another human being, especially someone who had never really done anything wrong,” Baxter told KCRG. The assault in a city street was captured by traffic cameras and a neighbor who witnesses the incident called 911.
According to the family’s statement, Nancy Krapfl grew up on a farm near Farley. She’d live in Dubuque since 2000 and worked for Holy Trinity Catholic Church and St. Matthias Parish in Cascade. Betwell is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree burglary.