Reopened Cold Case Leads to Arrest

The recent reopening of a cold case in southeast Iowa has resulted in an arrest. Iowa DCI agent Ryan Kedley says 52-year-old Michael Syperda is now accused of killing Elizabeth Syperda, who was 22-years-old when she vanished in July of 2000 in Mount Pleasant.

“The case was picked up in the last year or two by an agent with the DCI in conjunction with the Henry County Sheriff’s office and the Mount Pleasant Police Department,” Kedley said.

Michael and Elizabeth Syperda were married, but estranged, at the time of her disappearance over 17 years ago. A Henry County grand jury on Wednesday indicted Michael Syperda on a charge of first-degree murder. He was arrested Thursday in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

“Once the arrest warrant for Mr. Syperda was active, there was not much of an issue taking him into custody,” Kedley said. “Once located, he was taken into custody without incident.”

Michael Syperda was never ruled out as a suspect in the case but until now, investigators maintained they had no solid evidence to arrest him. Kedley would not state what led them to file charges now.

“Once he actually has the opportunity to go to trial…the information discussed [before the grand jury] will be addressed during the trial, so at that time, more details of the investigation will be made public,” Kedley said.

One month before Elizabeth Syperda vanished, Michael was arrested for assaulting both his wife and her roommate. He eventually pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery and domestic abuse assault stemming from that incident. He received a suspended prison sentence and was placed on probation for five years. Syperda later moved to Colorado.

Oskaloosa Football Builds Confidence with Route of Fort Madison

Just two short weeks ago, the Oskaloosa football team stumbled in a highly anticipated season opener against the three-time defending state champion Pella Little Dutch. But on the first week of district play, Osky seems to be finding their groove.

The 58-14 drubbing of Fort Madison is a similar score to the 49-0 win the Indians picked up on the Bloodhounds’ home field last year. That’s a great sign for Osky supporters as their team looks to get back to the playoffs.

Quarterback Seth Howard looked in the zone against Fort Madison, going 15 for 24 for 257 yards and 3 TDs. He also ran ten times for 110 yards and 3 TDs. This kind of performance is sure to excite fans of the Indians as an athletic quarterback who can find his targets downfield will make Osky tough to beat.

Howard will be the first to say he couldn’t do it without his targets, as several players got into the act offensively. None more so than Cole Henry, who caught four passes for 38 yards and two touchdowns. The 6-foot-7-inch junior will be a threat in short yardage, especially in the redzone, all season long. Alex Chapman led Osky with 127 receiving yards on four receptions. Tanner DeKock had three catches and a TD on the day as well.

Complementing the improved passing game was a rush attack that got going behind the Blake VanVeldhuizen-led offensive line. Casey Hill was the main beneficiary, rushing 13 times for 60 yards and a TD. Tyler Miller also had his best day in the backfield so far this season, gaining 47 yards on 6 carries with a rushing TD as well.

Defensively, Osky starting a little slowly, but eventually were able to surround the Hounds and not allow any big plays. Keaton DeKock and Cole Kraber had seven tackles each. Turnovers also played a factor as Alex DeJong picked off two more passes to increase his season total to four and Calvin Silvers had a fumble recovery.

All in all, there didn’t seem to be a lot of holes for Coach Jake Jenkins and the Indians last Friday, but there will be stiffer tests in Class 3A District 5. Mount Pleasant will host Osky this Friday and they are no pushover, as they nearly upset Washington, falling 16-14 on the road.

You can hear that game live on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, radiokmzn.com, and the KMZN mobile app starting with the pregame at 7 PM on Friday as Mount Pleasant and Oskaloosa battle to stay in the mix at the top of District 5.



Story By Emery Songer

Oskaloosa Defeats Burlington with Late Rally, Back to State in Softball

The Oskaloosa Indians were trying to make history on the softball diamond on Tuesday night, and riding another unbelievable performance from their ace, they did just that.

#7 Burlington was in town to face the #5 Indians in the Class 4A Region 5 Final with a trip to state on the line. When the dust settled, Osky would grab the win, 5-1.

Oskaloosa hit the ball well all night long against Grayhound pitcher Alivia Fawcett, getting hits in every inning but the fourth. They would plate the game’s first run in the second after singles by Aubrey Miller and Taylor Wills, which would be followed by a Maddie Haines sacrifice bunt and a Meghan Moorman RBI single.

On the other side in the early going, Osky pitcher Alexis Groet struck out the first eight she saw before allowing a couple hits in the fourth. She’d pitch around that jam to keep the score 1-0. After both teams were quiet in the fifth, Burlington brought the top of their order back up in the 6th. Slap hitting senior Mia Ruther would get her second hit of the game to lead off the inning, then she would promptly steal second. After back-to-back strikeouts, clean-up hitter Heather Geiger hit a soft grounder down the first base line. She would leg that out for an infield hit, and the throw to first from Groet would go down the right field line, allowing the tying run to score.

Into the bottom of the 6th, Oskaloosa wanted to get more runs before they fell behind. Ava VandeWall led off the inning with a double, representing the go-ahead run. Aubrey Miller would walk to follow that, and Taylor Wills would move the runners to 2nd and 3rd on a groundout to first base.

Maddie Haines would come through with a single down the left field line to give Osky the lead. Another bloop hit was hit to right field by Meghan Moorman, which set the table for senior Devan Welch, who got her second hit of the game for an RBI to increase the Osky lead. Josie Bunnell would also hit an RBI single to make it 5-1.

In the 7th, Groet would quickly retire all three batters she faced to give the Indians the win and move them to state for the third time in four years. This is also the first time in school history that Oskaloosa qualified for state in back-to-back campaigns. They won the Class 4A State Championship in 2016.

Osky advances to state where they will play on Tuesday next week at 3 PM against Mount Pleasant. The Indians are the #4 seed in the bracket with Mount Pleasant the #5 seed. You can catch all of the state tournament games for Osky on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, radiokmzn.com, and the KMZN mobile app.


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