Community members grieve the killing of an Iowa woman - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Community members grieve the killing of an Iowa woman


GREENE, Iowa (KTTC) -- An Iowa man is in custody after police believe he killed his wife, then took his child across state lines. Just a day later, residents in the small town of Greene, Iowa are trying to wrap their minds around what happened.

Friends of Judy Renee Petersen, better known as Renee, are in shock as to how this happened. In public, the couple seemed just fine, but as residents will agree, one never knows what happens behind closed doors.

Flowers and a balloon on the Petersen's doorstep on North High Street in Greene, are a small reminder of the life Judy Petersen, once lived.

"Things like that shouldn't happen, they just shouldn't happen," said a Greene resident.

Around 1AM Sunday morning, Judy's body was found in her home. Not long after, an amber alert was issued for the couple's 2-year old son, Jacob.

"We're just such a small community, I'm surprised anybody went of that end in town here. You hear it happening all the time, but you never hear it happening in Greene," said a concerned resident of Greene.

It was only hours later that 39-year old Thomas Petersen, Judy's husband, would be spotted by authorities in South Dakota with Jacob and soon taken into custody. Community members we spoke with chose not to reveal their identity, but say Judy was a well-liked member of the community.

"Renee was just a very sweet, caring person. She always had a smile," said a resident.

According to residents in Greene, the couple had 3 children. A 2, 9, and 17 year old. The children are currently in protective custody.

At this time it's unknown what charges Petersen faces, but he is a key suspect in Judy's death.


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