Dubuque Police looking for information on man possibly connected to 1987 murder of 14-year-old boy

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 6:07 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Police in Dubuque are looking for information on a man they believe could be connected to the murder of a 14-year-old boy in 1987.

Kenny Joe Johnson’s body was found on a beach at Maus Park, which is along the Mississippi River in Dubuque.

Police have received hundreds of leads over the years and haven’t been able to charge anyone with his murder.

Now they’re asking for information on a man named Eugene Lewis who has been confirmed to be in the Dubuque area in 1986 and 1987.

Police said Lewis lived in East Dubuque in October of 87, which is the same time frame Johnson’s body was found in Maus Park. They did not tell us why they believe he could be connected to the murder.

Lewis himself was murdered in Minneapolis in 2002, so he’s no longer here to face charges if he did have something to do with Johnson’s death. But Dubuque police told us they want to get answers for Johnson’s family.

“Just because it’s been 33 years, you know we’d still like to if the individual is alive or deceased be able to get some closure for Kenny’s family,” Lieutenant Ted McClimon explained.

A fisherman found Johnson’s body at Maus park rolled in a piece of carpet, he had been strangled to death.

Police say Eugene Lewis lived in an apartment on Sinsinawa Avenue with someone named Vern Janickie, who went by “Slim.”

Eugene may have gone by “Gene” for short.

If you have any information, contact Corporal Chris Gorrell with the Dubuque Police Department at: (563) 587-3806. You can also email him at

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