Authorities: SW Iowa Couple Shot, Killed Escaped Inmate

Law enforcement on the scene of a home invasion. The Iowa DCI says escaped inmate Rodney Long was shot and killed during the break-in. (photo credit: David Earl, KETV ABC7)


By Rachel Begle

BEDFORD, Iowa — Law enforcement authorities said Tuesday that an Iowa couple shot and killed an escaped inmate after being held in their home for four hours.

Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Mitch Mortveldt said Rodney Long forced his way into the couple's home at 2609 Highland Avenue about 10:15 p.m. and held them for the next four hours.

Jerome and Carolyn Mauderly said Long was armed with a semi automatic handgun. He had also taken their phones.

Jerome, 71, and Carolyn, 66, decided to defend themselves, Mortveldt said. They were not seriously hurt in the incident.

About 2 a.m., the couple called 911 to report the shooting. An Iowa State trooper was on the road nearby and responded immediately to the home.

The trooper found Long dead face down on the kitchen floor of the couple's home.

Authorities said they searched 16 square miles of the surrounding area in the past several days, including conducting three searches of the couple's property.

Mortveldt confirmed that the couple will face no charges in connection with the shooting.

Authorities said the deputy shot by Long on Sunday, Dan Wychoff, is in stable condition at an Omaha hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

Authorities said Long is not from the Bedford area, he was from southeastern Iowa. A autopsy on Long is planned. He was scheduled to be released from prison in September 2014.

In the early hours of Friday morning, Long escaped from a minimum security facility in Clarinda.

He wasn't seen again until Sunday about 11:25 p.m. The Taylor County Police Department received a suspicious call about a person walking along Highway 2 just outside the town of New Market.

Deputy Dan Wychoff was the first to approach Long. As Wychoff exited his vehicle, he was shot in the chest and arm.

Long took Wyckoff's patrol car and fled.

A second deputy arrived at the scene, picked up wounded Wyckoff and began a 40-minute pursuit through the rural area.

Wyckoff is in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries. He was flown to an Omaha hospital shortly after the shooting.

Department of Public Safety officials say more gunfire was exchanged between Long and officers as the pursuit continued, ending with Long rolling the stolen patrol car and escaping by foot.

"It's heavily wooded. You know the crops are still in. We're in rural Iowa. The corn is 7 feet tall," said Mortvedt.

The manhunt continues for Long involving law enforcement agencies from Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. He's believed to be on foot with a handgun that Mortvedt said was likely stolen in Clarinda over the weekend.

"We have no reason to believe he has any mode of transportation or that anyone is working with him at this point," Mortvedt added.

For southwestern Iowans, the threat is not being taken lightly.

"With something like that this close to home, I texted the kids, they're at home all day by themselves so I told them to make sure to lock the doors. I know it's twenty miles away, but still," said Clarinda resident Dan Childs.

"I actually just live right outside of town here, not too far from where they're hunting for the guy. I've got my keys out of the vehicles and my guns sitting by the door," said William Fidler who lives near Bedford.

The public is advised to remain vigilant by locking homes and doors. If anyone sees Long, do not approach him and call 911.

"We urge the public to remain very cautious. We're not trying to alarm anyone, but in the same breath, he's an escaped convicted felon and he's already shot one officer," said Mortvedt.

Childs' is afraid living in small town Iowa doesn't always mean you're safe. "It's always a possibility when you live next to something that close. There's nothing guaranteed. Heck, there's a movie called 'Shawshank Redemption.' That guy got out of there and that's a true story," he said.
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