Officials Release Cause of Death in Tama Homicide Investigation

By Dave Franzman & Vanessa Miller, Reporters

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By Aaron Hepker

TAMA, Iowa - The Iowa State Medical Examiner's Office said a woman found dead in a Tama home Wednesday afternoon died from sharp force injuries to the neck. The initial conclusion of homicide was confirmed by the autopsy.

A Tama police officer found Kerry O’Clair-Jefferson between 2:30 and 3 p.m. Wednesday at 104 Harmon St. in Tama, according to authorities. The Tama County Medical Examiner’s office determined O’Clair-Jefferson’s death was a homicide, and Ginger Jefferson, 57, was taken into custody as a material witness.

Authorities haven’t provided information about how O’Clair-Jefferson died and her possible connection with Jefferson. But police did thank Tama residents for providing them information about the death, according to a news release.

On O’Clair-Jefferson’s Facebook page, she is listed as a graduate of South Tama High School, a student at Marshalltown Community College and a former employee of the Iowa Veterans Home.

On Aug. 24, O’Clair wrote on her page that she and Dustin Jerome Jefferson were celebrating their ninth anniversary. Dustin Jefferson lists his marriage status as “separated” on Facebook.

Public records list Dustin J. Jefferson as a relative of Ginger Jefferson.

Tama police Chief Jeff Filloon confirmed today that Ginger Jefferson is O’Clair-Jefferson’s mother-in-law. He said O’Clair-Jefferson’s husband was arrested outside the house Wednesday evening but not for charges related to his wife’s death.

He was wanted on a warrant out of the Meskwaki settlement, and Filloon said he’s not considered a suspect at this point.

Dustin Jerome Jefferson, 38, has a lengthy criminal history in Iowa, according to online court records. He has felony convictions for going armed with intent and willful injury causing serious injury, and he has convictions for drug and alcohol-related charges.

An autopsy is expected to be completed later today, according to Filloon.

O’Clair-Jefferson’s criminal history includes convictions for drug and alcohol-related charges. Ginger Jefferson’s criminal history includes drug, alcohol and theft-related convictions, according to online court records.
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