Police Release Name of Man Killed in Cedar Rapids Homicide

By Hayley Bruce, Reporter

Police investigate at the scene of a suspected homicide in southwest Cedar Rapids Tuesday, June 11, 2013. (image taken from KCRG-TV9 video)


By Ellen Kurt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Cedar Rapids police have named the victim in a recent incident being investigated as a homicide on the southwest side.

A release from the department Thursday afternoon said officers responded to 5668 Kirkwood Blvd. on Monday at 3:37 p.m., where they found 22-year-old Ronald Kunkle, deceased. Cedar Rapids Police Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said Kunkle had obvious injuries when police arrived, but they didn't know what the cause of the injuries were. She said an autopsy has been conducted, but police are not yet releasing the cause of death.

"Right now they're still out at the crime scene, and so they're just really taking their time investigating the crime scene itself and they are still trying to gather as much information as they possibly can to put it all together," Hamblin said.

Hamblin said she didn't know whether there was a sign of a struggle at the apartment where Kunkle was found, or whether investigators have a suspect in mind at this time. She said police are in the process of interviewing possible witnesses.

When asked whether police believe it was an isolated incident, Hamblin said statistically, most victims know their attackers.

"They don't know for sure, I can't say absolutely whether the public is or isn't (in danger)," Hamblin said. "It is a very high percentage — 85 or 99 percent of the time — that the victim and the defendant know each other, and so we don't know for sure at this point who it was, but that's how it is traditionally."

The incident occurred roughly one mile from where M. John Owen, 90, was found dead on the kitchen floor of his home at 107 Gas Light Ct. SW in January. That case was also ruled a homicide, and police have not arrested anyone in connection with it.

Though Hamblin said she didn't know whether the police think the two are connected, she said it's likely something they are looking into.

"You always look at that. You look inside and you go out from there," Hamblin said. "I'm sure that's something they're looking at, just like the abduction of the girls up north, and within the last month they're seeing if that's related to the Evansdale case. You always try to see if there are parallels to crimes."

A Facebook page that appeared to belong to Kunkle said he was from Detroit, Mich. but lived in Cedar Rapids. It also said he studied at Manson Northwest Webster High in Manson, Iowa.
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