Former Cedar Rapids Jefferson softball star arrested in Florida cold case murder
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A former Cedar Rapids Jefferson softball star was arrested and charged, along with a retired homicide detective, with murder in connection with a 1999 killing of a Jacksonville Florida man.
Melissa Schafer, 50, was arrested in Jefferson City, Missouri Thursday. Her ex-husband, William Baer, who is a former homicide detective in Jacksonville was arrested the same day in Florida. Investigators say DNA evidence linked the two to the murder of Saad Kawaf, who owned a local convenience store.
Kawaf was stabbed and killed when a man and woman attacked him in his driveway and then tied up his wife in their home, stealing about $30,000 Kawaf was taking to deposit in the bank. Police now say Baer and Shafer were those attackers.
Police say Baer met Kawaf through his police duties and was investigating him when the murder happened but are not sure if that played a role in the murder. Baer retired from Jacksonville police in 2002.
Schafer played softball at Jefferson from 1984-1987, making first-team all-state all four years, before playing two seasons in college at UNI under a full scholarship. Shafer was inducted into the Iowa Girls’ High School Softball Hall of Fame in 2014.
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