the republic logo

Police release name of 66-year-old Dubuque resident who died after beating

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

DUBUQUE, Iowa — Authorities say the 66-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted and beaten to death this week in downtown Dubuque had worked as a church secretary and enjoyed early morning walks.

Police identified the victim in the early Tuesday attack as Dubuque resident Nancy Krapfl, who died at a hospital.

Helmon Betwell, 19, is charged with murder, sexual assault and burglary and remains in custody pending $1 million bail. His attorney Theresa Sampson Brown said Friday the defense team wouldn't comment.

Court documents say Betwell told investigators he didn't know Krapfl and that she was "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

In court documents, Betwell allegedly told police he was breaking into vehicles when he noticed a woman crossing the street. Police said he acknowledged knocking her unconscious and then carrying her to a vacant property, where he raped her and "hit her everywhere."

He told police he attacked her because "there was nothing better to do," the court documents said.

Police were called by a neighbor who saw the initial assault.

"It's sickening. It really is," Lt. Scott Baxter told KCRG-TV. "And scary that a human being could do this to another human being. Especially someone who had never really done anything wrong."

Family members released a statement Thursday that described Krapfl as a quiet person who grew up on a farm near Farley, just west of Dubuque, and lived in Denver for many years. She returned to Dubuque in 2000 and had worked as a church secretary and caregiver for relatives.

Her family said she enjoyed walking early to avoid the summer heat.

"We are shocked by her death," the family said in the statement. "We will never understand the brutality."

A small memorial with flowers, a stuffed animal and cards has been created near where Krapfl was attacked.

It was the fourth homicide in Dubuque this year.

PHOTO: In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, Denise Lippens places flowers at a memorial outside a vacant home where a woman was killed earlier in the week in Dubuque, Iowa. Helmon Betwell, 19, faces charges of first-degree murder, first-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree burglary, the Telegraph Herald reported. The woman was found with severe facial injuries and taken to a hospital, where she later died. She did not have an ID on her, and Lt. Scott Baxter said investigators are awaiting confirmation of the woman's identity from the state medical examiner's office. (Dave Kettering/Telegraph Herald via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT, TV OUT, MAGS OUT
In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, Denise Lippens places flowers at a memorial outside a vacant home where a woman was killed earlier in the week in Dubuque, Iowa. Helmon Betwell, 19, faces charges of first-degree murder, first-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree burglary, the Telegraph Herald reported. The woman was found with severe facial injuries and taken to a hospital, where she later died. She did not have an ID on her, and Lt. Scott Baxter said investigators are awaiting confirmation of the woman's identity from the state medical examiner's office. (Dave Kettering/Telegraph Herald via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT, TV OUT, MAGS OUT

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: In this photo taken on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, Helmon Betwell, 19, makes an initial appearance via the Dubuque Law Enforcement Center at the Dubuque County Courthouse, in Dubuque, Iowa. Betwell was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree burglary. (Dave Kettering /Telegraph Herald via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Click to view (2 Photos)
We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Subjects:

Places:

 

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2015 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.