CORALVILLE, Iowa — Authorities say a man has died while serving a life sentence for killing a 2-year-old girl more than 40 years ago in Waterloo.

The Iowa Corrections Department said Monday that 71-year-old Russell Fitz died Sunday at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville. He’d been assigned there because of his chronic illness.

Fitz was charged with first-degree murder for the slaying of Michelle Day in June 1974. A detective found her body in a crawl space over Fitz’s apartment bathroom. She’d been strangled.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.