Man Accused in 1997 Iowa City Murder Case Not Fighting Extradition

By Lee Hermiston, Reporter

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By Aaron Hepker

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota - John Bloomfield will be back in Iowa City in a matter of weeks to face accusations he killed his wife there 16 years ago.

Bloomfield, 73, now of St. Paul, Minn., appeared before a Ramsey County judge Thursday for a brief hearing to determine whether he would fight extradition back to Johnson County. Dressed in a short-sleeve orange jail jumpsuit and separated from the judge and his public defender by a short wooden wall and glass partition, Bloomfield said he would agree to be sent back to Johnson County to stand trial for first-degree murder.

Taking off his glasses to read the paperwork presented to him by the attorney, Bloomfield answered in single word responses when asked if he understood the implications of the extradition process.

Bloomfield's wife, Frances Bloomfield, 57, who lived at 38 Wakefield Court in Iowa City, was reported missing Sept. 22, 1997, by her husband John — a researcher at the University of Iowa’s Center for Computer-Aided Design. Three days later, Winnebago County, Ill. authorities found a body bound with pantyhose and wrapped in plastic and duct tape in a ditch near Rockford.

Authorities believed Bloomfield had been strangled in her Iowa City home. Court documents released in 1997 revealed investigators who responded to the Bloomfield home found blood stains in two bedrooms on the second floor of the home, as well as a mark that indicated Bloomfield was dragged through the hallway.

A blood stain also was found on the wall at the bottom of the stairs between the first and second floors, and two stains were located on the garage floor, according to the documents, which are detailed in a Nov. 26, 1997, Gazette article.

Her car was later discovered at Newark, N.J., International Airport.

John Bloomfield told authorities he was in the Chicago area returning from a business trip at the time of his wife’s death. However, police said Bloomfield was unable to sufficiently account for the time when he would have been driving.

Iowa City defense lawyer Leon Spies, who has remained in contact with Bloomfield since the murder, has said Bloomfield is in poor health. Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said once Bloomfield is returned to Iowa City, he will see a physician and a course of action for treatment will be determined.

If convicted of first-degree murder, a class A felony, Bloomfield will spend the rest of his life in prison.
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