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Husband Arrested In Agency Woman's Death
AGENCY, Iowa (AP) — A man accused of killing his pregnant wife was having an affair with another woman, authorities allege in a court affidavit released Thursday.
Seth Techel, 21, is charged with first-degree murder and nonconsensual termination of a human pregnancy in the death of his 23-year-old wife, Lisa. She was shot early Saturday at their home near Agency.
Both Techels worked in law enforcement. She was a reserve deputy with the Wapello County sheriff's office. He was recently hired as a jailer. He was arrested at the visitation Wednesday night.
According to the affidavit released by the sheriff's department, Seth Techel called 911 and said his wife had been shot while he was in the shower. Her body was found in the couple's bed. She was about 17 weeks pregnant.
A 12-gauge shotgun believed to be the murder weapon was found in the yard. The shotgun belonged to a man who lived with the couple for about six months and recently moved out for medical reasons. He didn't take the shotgun with him, according to the affidavit signed by Tony Birmingham of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
The Ottumwa Courier posted the affidavit on its website.
Investigators said the man, who had a cast on his left arm, was at his parents' home when Lisa Techel was shot.
Investigators also found a prepaid cellphone in Seth Techel's vehicle.
According to the affidavit, Techel had been having an affair with a woman since October 2011 and bought the prepaid cellphone "so that he would be able to communicate exclusively" with the woman without his wife finding out.
A few weeks before Lisa Techel's death, her husband told the other woman he was not happy with his marriage and "that it will be better in a couple weeks."
In a text message the day before his wife was shot, Sean Techel told the other woman that Lisa was "mad" and "sad" and Lisa wanted him home when she returned to work "so she could pack," according to the affidavit.
Investigators said no evidence indicates anyone other than Techel was involved in his wife's death.
"Thus far, no evidence has been discovered that indicates any intruder or other subject was in the Techel household at the time of the homicide, other than the defendant. Furthermore, no evidence has been discovered that indicates Lisa had any enemies who would want to cause her harm. There were no signs of forced-entry to the residence and there are no known items that were taken from the residence."
Seth Techel was being held in the Wapello County jail on $750,000 bond. It's unclear if he has an attorney. His case is not listed in the online court system and the Wapello County clerk of court office was closed Thursday afternoon.
Hundreds of mourners, including scores of law enforcement officers, attended Lisa Techel's funeral on Thursday at First Lutheran Church in Ottumwa. Her father is a deputy sheriff in Wapello County. Her uncle is a dispatcher with the department.
Lisa Techel's mother, Tracy Caldwell, delivered a tearful eulogy for her daughter, The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/LazUS0 ) reported. She said her eldest daughter tended to her younger siblings as a girl and even taught her elder brother to tie his shoes.
"She was born to be a mother," Caldwell said.
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