Police visited Cedar Rapids home repeatedly before 22-year-old was found dead

A home where police say a 22-year-old woman was murdered early last month was well known to law enforcement.
Published: May. 31, 2022 at 5:16 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A home where police say a 22-year-old woman was murdered early last month was well known to law enforcement. Officers were called to the house on 10th Avenue southeast in Cedar Rapids more than 90 times in 5 years leading up to the death of Emily Leonard.

Prosecutors believe Arthur Flowers beat her to death with a wooden board inside the home.

”I know different women that have been injured over there, I told Emily don’t ever go around the guy alone,” John Leonard told TV-9 over the phone shortly after his daughter died.

He said Emily had been to Arthur Flowers’ home before, but he isn’t positive why she was there the day she died.

”I have no idea why, but I think they got her over there to do drugs,” said Leonard.

Her boyfriend sent us a letter from jail saying he and Emily were ‘addicts.’ He went on to say the ‘police department has known for years Arthur Flowers residence has been a known drug house.’

Officers were called to the property 94 times in 5 years with calls ranging from burglary, to weapons and other disturbances. 15 of the calls resulted in cases but none of them flagged the home as a nuisance.

”The calls for service that we’ve reviewed within the past year have been things that SAFE-CR would not issue a notice of violation or a founded call for service for,” said Amanda Grieder, Public Safety Programs Manager.

The city does have the ability to revoke a landlord’s business permit or rental unit registration to lease a property through the Housing Board of Appeals.

That did not happen with Flowers home as it wasn’t even considered a nuisance until March and that had nothing to do with police calls, it was for a trash violation.

”If anyone is ever calling the police for any reason even if there is a crime occurring there, if they need assistance we never want to detour anyone from calling so we have never made those nuisance violations,” said Grieder. She says SAFE-CR does not penalize people for calling the police.

They did just update city code when it comes to nuisance properties in January, that’s the only reason Flowers home now qualifies as rules were stiffened when it comes to trash.

We reached out to the landlord of the home who is listed as living in New York, but we have not heard back.

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