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Law enforcement announce they have solved decade-old murder case with two arrests


This news story was published on January 26, 2016.
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WAPELLO COUNTY, IOWA – Two Iowa men are behind bars as authorities say they have solved a decade-old double murder mystery.

Yesterday, January 25, 2016, Christopher Joseph Yenger, 28, of Ottumwa, and Zachary Allen Dye, 27, of Council Bluffs, were arrested. Yenger and Dye are each charged with two counts of Felony Murder.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) was asked to assist the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) State Fire Marshal Division (SFM) with a follow up investigation on a fire investigation they conducted in 2006. On March 5, 2006, the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) State Fire Marshal Division (SFM) investigated a fire at a residence in rural Wapello County that claimed the lives of two young men, Nathan Messer, 20, and Seth Anderson, 22, both from Ottumwa. The investigation in 2006 was closed and the fire was ruled undetermined.

Information was brought forth alleging the fire was started intentionally by individuals who were involved in a physical altercation at the residence shortly before the fire was discovered. In January 2016, the case was reopened. The 2006 investigative report prepared by the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) State Fire Marshal Division (SFM) showed that on March 4, 2006 into the early morning of March 5, 2006, a 21st birthday party was held at the home located at 11612 140th Street in rural Wapello County. This party started around 7:00 pm on March 4, 2006, and had approximately 20-30 attendees; all around the age of 21. The party concluded between 3:00 am and 5:00 am on March 5, 2006.

At approximately 6:33 am on March 5, 2006, a neighbor observed smoke and flames coming from the residence of 11612 140th Street. Wapello County Rural Fire and Rescue and the Hedrick Fire Department were called and responded to the scene. Arriving emergency personnel found two individuals outside of the home. The residence was fully engulfed in flames and sustained major fire damage. Seth Anderson and Nathan Messer, who were sleeping on the second floor of the home, never made it out and died from smoke inhalation.

Special Agents from the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) State Fire Marshal Division (SFM) responded to the scene on March 5, 2006 and conducted their investigation. During this investigation the origin and cause of the fire was not able to be determined. Wapello County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) State Fire Marshal (SFM) Special Agents conducted interviews with individuals who attended the party the night prior. As a result of these interviews, it was learned that in the early hours of March 5, 2006, a physical altercation took place between an individual at the party and Chris Yenger, who had shown up to the party. Yenger was asked to leave the party.

This is an ongoing investigation being worked jointly by the Wapello County Sheriff’s office, the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) State Fire Marshal Division (SFM).

No further information will be released at this time.

DYE, ZACHARY ALLEN

DYE, ZACHARY ALLEN

YENGER, CHRIS

YENGER, CHRIS

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7 Responses to Law enforcement announce they have solved decade-old murder case with two arrests

  1. Avatar

    Bulldog Posse Reply Report comment

    January 26, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    So when are they going to do the same for the 10 month old in Mason City?

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      January 26, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      They are still investigating the father. When they have enough proof they will do the world a favor and lock him up for life.

      • Avatar

        Teleporter Kurt Wagner Reply Report comment

        January 26, 2016 at 5:56 pm

        Yeah LVS, I must have from 1100 miles away. My X Men powers are under govt surveillance.

        • Avatar

          LVS Reply Report comment

          January 26, 2016 at 6:07 pm

          It is called neglect and abandonment dumb azz.

          • Avatar

            Oblivious

            January 26, 2016 at 6:13 pm

            LVS, you’re a stupidly deceptive human being who is vindictive beyond belief. 1. I was asked to leave by my ex girlfriend. She broke up with me. I honored her request. I left her alone. I gave her space. 2. She had already been stepping out on me with her new interest. She had sex with a guy out in CA on a family trip while we were presumably still together. 3. I had no idea who her new boyfriend was. I had no idea they were doing meth. I had no idea the Bulldog Posse was hanging around my child.

        • Avatar

          anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 26, 2016 at 9:20 pm

          You answered the request of an ex girlfriend to leave. Hmmmm, you’ve been asked to leave this site and you’re still here.

  2. Avatar

    Allen Reply Report comment

    January 26, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Sometimes the wheels of justice turn slow. Good job to all those involved solving this case.