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More details emerge about '78 murder

03/17/2006 05:28:59 PM

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Lyon County, Iowa, officials on Friday released new information about Wilma June Nissen, the woman who was found dead in a ditch in 1978 outside Rock Rapids, Iowa.

At a Friday press conference, Lyon County Sheriff Blythe Bloemendaal released details of Nissen's troubled childhood, and named her first foster family, a sister and two husbands.

"A lot of new information has come in with a lot of new leads," Bloemendaal said. "As we sit here today, we think there are several more children. We're going to be seeking them out today. We're going to be seeking out a former husband and two other people of interest to us that we want to talk to."

He detailed a rough childhood that included living in a car with her father and sister and moving to four separate foster homes in California. When Nissen was placed with her first foster family at age 10, she could not read, write or eat with a fork, Bloemendaal said.

Nissen's first foster parents were Maxine and Marshall Holte, who said they kept in touch with Nissen, but abruptly lost touch with her 28 years ago.

"It's closure," Marshall Holte said via phone from his home in Payette, Idaho. "We'd been wondering why we didn't hear from her in 28 years, and now we know,"

Bloemendaal also said officials are waiting to receive DNA evidence that proves the 28-year-old woman who came forward is Nissen's daughter.

The 27-year-old mystery unraveled in mid February when authorities spoke to a woman believed to be the daughter of Nissen -- who for years was known only by her white go-go boots and universal nomenclature Jane Doe. She was 23 at the time of her death.

Read the complete story in Saturday's Sioux City Journal.

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