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Elderly Homicide Victim in Cedar Rapids was Beaten to Death

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CEDAR RAPIDS< Iowa A 90-year-old man found dead in his Cedar Rapids home two weeks ago was beaten to death, officials said Thursday.

Matthew J. Owen died of multiple blunt-force injuries, according to Chief State Medical Examiner Dr. Julia Goodin. The death has been ruled a homicide, and no arrests have been made.

Owen, who went by the name M. John Owen, was found dead on the kitchen floor of his home at 107 Gas Light Ct. SW the morning of Jan. 18. Police found his front door open when they were checking his welfare.

Police Chief Wayne Jerman said investigators have not determined a motive for the crime, but it appears Owen knew whoever is responsible for the crime.

"Our investigators firmly believe that this was not a random act," Jerman said.

Owen lived in an apartment in Washington, Iowa before moving to Cedar Rapids last November. Between the time Owen moved in and the day of his death, police made seven visits to his house, mostly for reports of burglary or theft. Jewelry, cash and a television were reported stolen, according to police reports. No arrests were made.

Jerman called the investigation "very active, very fluid," but said he couldn't comment about specifics in the case.

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