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Two 16-year-old students were charged with murder for the death of a Mexican high school teacher whose body was found hiding in a park in southeastern Iowa, authorities said Thursday.
Investigators said Nohema Graber, a 66-year-old Spanish teacher at Fairfield High School, was reported missing Tuesday and his remains were found later that day at Chautauqua Park in Fairfield, located about 95 miles southeast of Des Moines, The Ottumwa Courier reported.
Willard Noble Chaiden Miller and Jeremy Everett Goodale, both 16, and students at the school, have been charged as adults with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department said. .
Authorities said the two minors will be tried as adults, citing the circumstances and their ages. Both are being held on a million dollar bond, records show.
According to court documents that were released, Graber suffered “a trauma to the head.”
His body was found hidden under a tarp, a wheelbarrow and railroad ties in the park, where he frequently walked in the afternoons.
The crime is believed to have taken place Tuesday afternoon.
Police received a tip that Goodale posted details about the murder planning and a possible motive on social media, according to court documents, although they did not detail the possible motive.
Investigators said they also spoke with a witness who saw the two teens in the park Tuesday afternoon.
A search warrant at the suspects’ homes uncovered clothing that appeared to contain blood, police said.
Police confronted Miller, who “admitted to being in the Chautauqua city park while the murder was taking place,” says a criminal complaint, “providing materials used to commit the murder and assisting in actions taken to conceal the murder.”
Graber, originally from Xalapa, Mexico, taught Spanish at Fairfield High School since 2012.
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