Gregory Showalter Sr., a 63-year-old convicted murderer from Ottumwa, Iowa, was arrested on Saturday after evading the court on the day his guilty verdict was announced. Previously out on bail since August 2021, Showalter was required to attend court sessions and wear a GPS monitor as part of his bail conditions, after posting 10% of a $250,000 bond.
On the verdict day, authorities went to Showalter’s residence following his no-show. They encountered a woman claiming to be Showalter’s friend, who revealed he had given her his car keys, insinuating he no longer needed them. She assumed he was heading to the courthouse on foot and expressed uncertainty about his whereabouts.
Showalter, deemed “armed and dangerous,” was wanted for “Failure to Appear – Murder in the First Degree,” as stated by the Iowa Department of Public Safety. The department later confirmed his arrest, expressing gratitude to those who provided pivotal information leading to his capture.
According to officials, Showalter was absent when the jury convicted him on September 22, 2023, for murdering his wife in August 2021. The Ottumwa Courier reported that during their 40-plus years of marriage, Showalter, in the midst of a divorce from his wife Helen, allegedly enticed her to a job site, murdered her, and disposed of her body in the Des Moines River. Helen Showalter was found floating in the river a day after her family reported her missing.
Even with Showalter’s absence, in compliance with Iowa court regulations, the judge permitted the jury’s verdict to be declared. Showalter was found guilty of numerous charges, including first-degree murder and domestic abuse assault.
Prior to his disappearance, Showalter’s attorney urged him to return to the Wapello County Courthouse for the verdict. Investigations later revealed he had disconnected his GPS and turned off his cell phone. Efforts to locate him on Friday, which involved a police dog tracking a scent to a nearby motel, were initially unsuccessful.