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ONAWA, Iowa -- A Castana, Iowa, man has pleaded not guilty to killing his grandmother.

Eliot Stowe, 21, entered his written plea Monday in Monona County District Court to first-degree murder. A trial date has yet to be set.

Stowe is charged with killing Cheryl Stowe, 66, at her home sometime from June 23-26.

Cheryl Stowe's body was found wrapped in a rug in a well-hidden area near her rural Castana home on June 27, a day after co-workers had contacted authorities to check on her because she had not shown up for work.

Eliot Stowe, who was already in custody for an unrelated case, was arrested Nov. 20 and charged with murder. An autopsy report said that Cheryl Stowe's death was the result of "complex homicidal violence," and evidence found in her home indicated blunt force trauma.

According to court documents, Cheryl Stowe had told friends that her grandson's behavior was becoming more aggressive and their relationship was strained.

If found guilty of first-degree murder, Stowe would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

Stowe has pleaded not guilty in Monona County to assault on persons engaged in certain occupations and false imprisonment for allegedly threatening to assault his parole officer on June 6.

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