Two Arrested in Northeast Iowa Murder-for-hire Plot

By Christy Aumer, Reporter

CRESCO, Iowa – Two people have been arrested Monday for allegedly plotting to kill someone.

Officials believe 32-year-old Malissa R. Farmer hired 35-year-old Daniel S. Padgett to kill her ex-husband Richard. Cresco Investigator Richard Hollenbeck said they received a tip from a man on Thursday.

"He had information that they [Malissa and Padgett] were still carrying out this plan," Hollenbeck said.

Hollenbeck believes the man was approached by Malissa Farmer to aid her in the plan to murder Richard Farmer, but he refused and contacted authorities. Officials believe Farmer had been planning to murder her husband since the middle of December 2012.

"She did have a plan put into place, what needed to be done, how and by a certain time," Hollenbeck said.

Authorities said Farmer had obtained a weapon and planned to give it to Padgett. A theft of a weapon from a residence in Howard County was reported to the Howard County Sheriff's Office in early January, and is related to this case, Hollenbeck said. He was unable to provide specifics on the weapon.

Officials said Malissa Farmer had briefly moved out of Iowa, but moved back to Cresco in December, and Padgett, who "moves around a lot," arrived in Cresco sometime in January. Farmer and Padgett reportedly were renting a place in Cresco, but authorities were not sure if they were living with each other, but they were arrested together.

Hollenbeck believes Farmer and Padgett are the main conspirators in this case, but it remains under investigation.

"There is a sense of shock at first, could this really be happening?" Hollenbeck said. "But you have to keep an open mind and realize everything is possible."

Malissa could face a felony charge of solicitation to commit murder, as well as a related second-degree theft charge. Her bond has been set at $15,000. Padgett could face a felony charge of conspiracy to commit murder, and is being held on a $10,000 bond.

Malissa and Padgett remain in the Howard County Jail as of Wednesday morning.
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