Murder Charge Filed In Cedar Rapids Stabbing Death

By Lee Hermiston, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The news moved Diana Hogan to tears.

“Thank god,” Hogan, 43, of Marion, sobbed. “Thank god.”

Hogan learned Friday morning that an arrest had been made in the April 4 stabbing death of her friend 37-year-old Shanna Beyhl.

Beyhl, a resident of 228 Jacoyln Dr. SW, April 13, was found stabbed to death in her apartment when police conducted a welfare check at the residence on April 4.

On Friday, the Cedar Rapids Police Department announced that 32-year-old Bobbie H. Little had been charged with first-degree murder in Beyhl's death.

In a year marked with violence in the city — including multiple murders and shootings — filing a murder charge marks a big win for the police department.

“It's always a positive note when we're able to close an open case, especially one as significant as this,” Police Chief Wayne Jerman said. “It's even more satisfying to know the family of the victim gets closure.”

Little already was in custody at the Linn County Jail on a second-degree theft charge related to the case. Police said Little had traded or given away items belonging to Beyhl, including her cellphone, television and a gaming system.

Police said Friday that officers recovered clothing and shoes belonging to Little that were sent to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation lab for examination and tested positive for Beyhl's DNA. His fingerprints also were found at the scene of the murder.

Jerman chalked up the investigation to “good, old-fashioned police work.” Jerman said he didn't know how Beyhl and Little knew each other.

“I can't say what the depth of their relationship was,” Jerman said. “Whether they were friends or acquaintances, I don't know. I'd rather not comment on the extent of their relationship.”

Hogan described Beyhl as “beautiful, blonde, tall” and “very outgoing.” After dealing with some other issues in her life, Hogan said Beyhl was “really trying to get her life back together.” Beyhl was returning to school at Kirkwood Community College, Hogan said.

“She was so excited about starting back to school,” Hogan said.

Hogan praised the work of the police department.

“She wasn't just another murder,” she said. “They worked hard and they got him.”

Little appeared in court Friday for his initial appearance, where his bond was set at $750,000. He will be represented by a public defender.

First-degree murder is punishable by an automatic life sentence.

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