Social media messages link suspects to Iowa teacher’s murder, police say

FAN Editor

A 16-year-old high school student charged in the murder of a Spanish teacher at his school admitted to authorities that he was present at the park where she was killed at the time of her death and helped cover up the crime, according to court documents filed Thursday in an Iowa district court. William Noble Chaiden Miller is one of two students charged in the death of Nohema Graber, who was reported missing several hours before her body was discovered in an Iowa park.

Miller and Jeremy Everett Goodale have both been charged with murder in the first degree, the documents said. They will be charged as adults, the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office said in a statement on Thursday. 

Graber’s body was found under a tarp, wheelbarrow and railroad ties in Chautauqua Park in Fairfield, Iowa, on Tuesday, according to court documents. She appeared to have “suffered inflicted trauma to the head.” 

In an interview, Miller told authorities he had been in the park at the time of the murder, provided “materials utilized in committing the murder,” and helped conceal the crime, the documents said. He did not say he killed Graber.

Nohema Graber
Nohema Graber Fairfield High School

Investigators also said an associate of Miller and Goodale provided them with social media messages in which Miller and Goodale wrote about specific details of Graber’s disappearance and death. 

“The details included, but were not limited to, the motive for killing Graber, the planning and execution of the means to kill Graber, as well as deliberate attempts to conceal the crime,” court documents said. 

The documents did not provide a possible motive.

Authorities said they then searched Goodale and Miller’s houses and found clothes that appeared to have blood on them. A witness also told authorities they saw both Goodale and Miller in Chautauqua Park on Tuesday afternoon, according to court documents.

Graber, 66, had been a Spanish teacher at Fairfield High School since 2012, according to the school’s >Graber,%20Nohema” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener”>website. Miller and Goodale were students there. 

In a statement released to families and staff earlier in the week, superintendent Dr. Laurie Noll said the school would be closed on Friday and counseling would be available.

“At this time our students and staff’s well-being is our top priority. As a community, we will stand together as we navigate any new developments. We also greatly appreciate your cooperation and assistance,” Noll said in the statement.

Graber’s family released a statement on Friday about her death.

“To know Nohema was to love her — she was the kind of person every community longs to have in its midst and we were blessed to have her in our lives,” the family said. “She lived for her children, her family and her faith. Her next priorities were her job as an educator and the children she taught, her local Parish, and the Spanish-speaking community in Fairfield. The family deeply appreciates the outpouring of support during this unimaginable tragedy.”

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds also released a statement “extending her deepest sympathies” to those mourning.

“My heart goes out to the family, friends, colleagues, and students that are dealing with this tragic murder of Nohema Graber,” she said. “Ms. Graber touched countless children’s lives through her work as an educator across our state by sharing her passion of foreign language. I am confident through the work of our dedicated law enforcement that justice will prevail.”

Miller and Goodale will be making their court appearance on November 12. Both are being held on $1 million cash bonds.

The investigation is ongoing.

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