The state DCI has now charged a Thayer man with murder in the deaths of two people after a second body was discovered this weekend. DCI Special Agent in Charge Michael Motsinger says they were conducting interviews after the body of 37-year-old Loretta Lynn Dillinger of Thayer was found in a rural Union County farm pond over one week ago.
The interviews gave them information that there might be another body and they obtained search warrants and began a search Friday and Saturday in Thayer. He says they were able to use police dogs and find human remains on the property. Following the discovery of the second body, they sought arrest warrants for Lorretta Dillinger’s former brother-in-law.
“We have two counts of first-degree murder that we filed against Jerry Ray Dillinger, age 37, he’s also of Thayer Iowa,” Motsinger says. “Deputies were able to pull mister Dillinger over and place him under arrest without any incident.” Motsinger says they are now trying to determine the identity of the second remains.
“We don’t have any information on missing persons in the area — so it is going to be a challenge. But, hopefully through interviews and information we have obtained, we’ll be able to hopefully get this second person identified as quickly as possible,” Motsinger says. The remains were transported to the State Medical Examiner’s office in Ankeny. Motsinger says they will be trying to determine the person’s identity as well as how long they were dead.
He says environmental factors can play a part in that determination. Motsinger says the weather conditions play into how the body decomposes and the state medical examiner on the scene can give them a picture of how long the body was on the property. Jerry Dillinger is currently being held in the Union County Jail awaiting further court proceedings.
(Reporting by Jordan Armstrong, KSIB, Creston)