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Cedar Rapids Death Ruled a Homicide

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Cedar Rapids police are now investigating the death of a 90-year-old man as a homicide.

Matthew J. Owen was found dead on the kitchen floor of his home at 107 Gas Light Ct. SW the morning of Jan. 18. Police located his body after a neighbor called to report that the front door of house was open.

Investigators do not believe the crime was a random act, according to a news release issued by the department Wednesday afternoon.

Owen, who went by the name M. John Owen, purchased the quarter-million dollar house across from Kirkwood Community College in early November 2012, according to property records. Police responded to the house seven times before Owen's death, mostly for reports of burglary or theft. Jewelry, cash and a television were reported stolen, according to police reports. No arrests were ever made.

During an interview last week, Police Chief Wayne Jerman was unwilling to call the death suspicious, but alluded to the depth of the investigation.

"We deal in facts and circumstances, and we're being thorough," Jerman said on Jan. 23. "It's an undetermined death, and we're proceeding as we need to."

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