An Iowa woman has made continued claims about her late father being a serial killer, ultimately leading to an investigation, according to a published report.
Lucy Studey continues to ring the alarm about her father’s alleged crimes, with one of the earlier instances happening in 2007, according to a published report.
Studey contacted the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office, saying her father, Donald Dean Studey – who died in 2013 at 75 – was a serial killer who buried the remains of dozens of women on his property, according to local outlet WHO-TV.
She says that her father was responsible for the death of up to 70 women, most of whom were sex workers, and that she was forced to help hide the bodies, according to KETV.
“I know where the bodies are buried,” she told Newsweek, sharing how she allegedly used a wheelbarrow in the warmer months and a toboggan in winter to help their father transport bodies.
“He would just tell us we had to go to the well, and I knew what that meant,” Lucy said to the outlet.
“Every time I went to the well or into the hills, I didn’t think I was coming down. I thought he would kill me because I wouldn’t keep my mouth shut.”
“We have heard about this for years,” Deputy Sheriff Tim Bothwell told WHO-TV, referring to the claims of the late Iowa resident.
Authorities say they previously followed the tip and two cadaver dogs had detected the scent of human remains across four different sites, including a 90-foot well, according to Newsweek and WHO-TV.
“She [Lucy] told us in 2007 and we went out and there was only one well on the property that we could see, we didn’t realize that it was on other people’s property,” Bothwell said to the outlet.
Despite these longstanding claims, Studey’s older sister, Susan Studey, refutes them, according to Newsweek.
“My father was not the man she makes him out to be. He was strict, but he was a protective parent who loved his children,” Susan said to the outlet.
“Strict fathers don’t just turn into serial killers … I’m two years older than Lucy. I think I would know if my father murdered.”
According to the Des Moines Register, Lucy reportedly alerted authorities of her father’s alleged crimes again in 2021.
Studey told them that her dad would hunt for his alleged victims some 40 miles away in the Omaha, Nebraska, area, and murder “five or six” women per year, according to the outlet.
According to KETV, the sheriff said his office had no record of problems with Donald Studey while he was alive, and Fremont County has no reports of any missing people in the area, and no one had come forward with questions about a missing person.
According to reports, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation will coordinate with Fremont County authorities about how to proceed with the investigation.
“We are actively investigating this, and who wouldn’t?” Fremont County Sheriff Kevin Aistrope told KETV.
“We have a scene, but we don’t know whether it’s a crime scene,” the sheriff said to the outlet. “We don’t have victims, bodies. Nothing.”
According to WETV, authorities said digging at the site is not the first option, considering the cost could total $300,000.
“And with a county with a $1.8 million law enforcement budget, that would just devastate our budget,” Bothwell said to the local outlet.
Other options for further investigating the site could include core drilling, other ground testing, or more cadaver dogs, according to the outlet.
According to KETV, local, state, and federal agencies are involved with the investigation, including the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the FBI.
“They’d asked us to assist with the investigation as well as the FBI and we’re happy to do so, you know, and try to provide manpower and resources,” Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, told KETV.
Mortvedt told the outlet that because the alleged suspect passed away in 2013, law enforcement agencies will take the time necessary to conduct this investigation.
According to CNN, the investigation is still in its “infancy,” — the authorities did not give a timeline but told the outlet it would be “months in the making.”