SIOUX CITY | Whoever fatally shot a Morningside man in his bed in September is still at large as police continue to gather evidence.
The public is not in danger, Sioux City Police Capt. Lisa Claeys said Monday.
Ben Steffe, 66, of Sioux City, died at Mercy Medical Center Sept. 20 after he was shot twice in the chest around 7 a.m. Sept. 9 at his Applewood Avenue home.
Eric Riley, 40, Steffe's nephew and business associate, was arrested the day of the shooting but charges of attempted murder and first degree burglary against him were dropped Sept. 19. Police said not enough physical evidence was available to link Riley to the shooting.
On Monday, Claeys said the police department is awaiting test results, including DNA identification, from the State Crime Lab.
She said she could not say whether any suspects have been identified but that she does not believe the general public is in danger.
“If we thought the public at large was at danger, we’d let them know,” she said.
Court documents say Steffe told police the gunman was wearing a ski mask and indicated to several sources he believed it was Riley. However, the documents say Steffe could not positively identify Riley and named two others as possible shooters.
The motion to dismiss charges said it was unclear why Steffe identified Riley as the main suspect and that his medical condition rendered him unable to talk to authorities. Additional documents say Riley never admitted guilt during the investigation and that there were not any known eyewitnesses who could place him at the scene.
Steffe's wife was next to Steffe in bed when he was shot, but she was not injured.
After the shooting, police found a bullet lodged in Steffe's bed and a Llama Commanche II .38-caliber revolver in the bedroom, according to a search warrant application.
Investigators took clothing, including a black ski mask, from Riley's Sioux City home, according to the warrant. Two black stocking caps, a pair of black gloves, two bags of receipts and four containers of "a green leafy substance" were found in a car Riley drove to the crime scene after police had arrived, police wrote.
Claeys said Riley is out of jail on bond but the department “reserves the right to refile charges” if enough evidence exists to charge him with the shooting.