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Family still has hope for justice, 49 years after daughter's death


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It’s been nearly 50 years since the killing of 17-year-old Maureen Brubaker Farley.

On September 21st, 1971, two young hunters found her body laid across an abandoned car, along a ravine in Cedar Rapids.

That same day, her family received a call no one ever wants to get.

“I hollered David, Maureen’s dead, and he said oh no no no and he kept walking the floor and just saying no no no. It was like a nightmare we couldn’t believe it,” said Mary Ann Brubaker, Maureen’s mother.

Lisa Brubaker Schenzel was just four years old, when she learned her sister was gone forever.

That memory is still ingrained in her mind,

“I remember the boys being in the bedroom and them coming out. I just always remember that,” Schenzel said.

Maureen is described as a firecracker, loved by all.

“I know when she was fourteen whenever I’d go in the bedroom to get the kids up for school, the screen was off the window and Maureen was gone,” said Brubaker.

Five years ago, the family received a glimmer of hope.

That’s when Cedar Rapids Police Department’s investigator Matthew Denlinger took an interest in Maureen’s case.

“We kind of started all over from scratch in 2015. This was a new case with us so we had to familiarize ourselves with all of the details of the case and make a plan going forward,” said Denlinger.

One piece of evidence helping bring these investigators closer to solving the case is DNA evidence from the scene back in 1971.

“We knew that we could go out we could find men that had been involved in the case whose names were mentioned in the report who maybe were acquaintances of Maureen back then and we could collect buckle swabs from them and we could send that to the state and we could have those compared to our suspects sample,” said Denlinger.

They have yet to find a match, but Denlinger is hopeful.

“There are more people in those reports that haven’t been found yet or located that we can still collect from, he said.

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Denlinger is determined to bring justice to the Brubaker family, just like he did for Michelle Martinko’s family, after nearly four decades waiting for answers.

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