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Man charged with Williams’ murder held in Marshall County Jail

The individual charged with the murder of Michael Williams is being held in the Marshall County Jail.

Steven Vogel, 31, of Grinnell and briefly of Marshalltown, was arrested on Friday by the Marshalltown Police Department — six days after Williams, 44, of Grinnell, was killed.

Adam DeKamp with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said in a press conference on Tuesday that Vogel has not only been charged with first-degree murder but also abuse of a corpse.

Williams’ body was found burning in a ditch near Kellogg, wrapped in cloth, plastic and carpet, bound in rope and duct tape.

DeKamp said Vogel and Williams were acquaintances and there is no evidence that the killing of Williams was motivated by race, as Williams was a Black man.

Three other people have been arrested in connection to Williams’ death — Julia Cox, Roy Garner and Cody Johnson, who have all been charged with abuse of a corpse. Cox and Garner have also been charged with destruction of evidence. They are being held in the Poweshiek County Jail.

Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper said Vogel was arrested on separate charges — fifth-degree criminal mischief, a probation violation and assault to commit serious injury. It is not often an individual is charged with additional crimes after being arrested.

“This is tragic,” Tupper said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family and friends. Anytime a crime like this occurs, it is very tragic and unusual. This type of violence does not occur often in central Iowa. I am happy about that but sad that this occurred at all. I am fully confident authorities are doing what they can to solve the crime.”

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Contact Lana Bradstream at 641-753-6611 or lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.

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