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Fingerprints, DNA taken from McLean in multi-state death investigation


Police in Iowa took fingerprints and DNA swabs from a man suspected in the deaths of four people in Mid-Missouri.

The Sioux City Police Department took the evidence from J.T. McLean's body on Thursday, according to a search warrant obtained by ABC 17 News. The inventory lists just the fingerprints and DNA swabs.

The evidence could be used by law enforcement in Mid-Missouri for ongoing homicide investigations. ABC 17 News uncovered that Union County sheriff's deputies in South Dakota found a bloody cord and rubber straps in the truck McLean died in. Police say he killed himself.

The Boone County and Miller County sheriff's offices believe McLean committed four killings between the two locations. Prosecutors in Boone County charged McLean with murder for the suspected strangling and drowning of Allison and Jozee Abitz on Aug. 22. Miller County deputies believe he had something to do with the deaths of Pam and Daniel Stephan, found dead Wednesday. McLean killed himself Wednesday night when law enforcement caught up to him in Dakota Dunes in South Dakota, according to the Union County (S.D.) Sheriff's Office.

Law enforcement agencies in Missouri are coordinating a pickup of the evidence found in South Dakota, according to Capt. Brian Leer of the Boone County Sheriff's Office. Leer said the office is working with Miller County, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Union County to get the evidence.

A reason why McLean was in South Dakota remains unreleased. Relatives of the Stephans live in the Dakota Dunes area, and law enforcement there moved them to a different location when they learned McLean was in the area. Family members tell ABC 17 News they are safe, but grieving the loss of their loved ones.

The Stephans lived in Union County for several years before moving to Missouri. A former neighbor told ABC 17 News she was shocked to learn the couple had been the victims of a homicide. She remembered them as kind people for the years they lived next to each other near North Sioux City.

Union County Sheriff Dan Limoges said McLean was alive when law enforcement surrounded his truck just a mile and a half from where the Stephans used to live. Limoges said he believes McLean shot himself when law enforcement fired a rubber round at the truck he stole from Miller County, shattering a window.

Lucas Geisler

Lucas Geisler anchors the 5 p.m. show for ABC 17 News and reports on the latest news around mid-Missouri at 9 and 10 p.m.


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