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Possible murder weapon discovered during arrest in Boone County homicide

Possible murder weapon discovered during arrest in Boone County homicide


Iowa police believe they may have discovered the murder weapon in a motel room while arresting a Columbia man accused of homicide.

A Columbia murder suspect was arrested Wednesday in Creston, Iowa in the shooting death of Justin W. Stidham. According to police, at 5:15 p.m the Iowa State Patrol, Creston Police and the Union County Sheriff's Department zeroed in on Mark Achterberg at the Moonlite Motel off of Highway 34.

Police say Achterberg resisted arrest for a few short minutes, he then turned himself over to officers.

Sheriff Mark Shepherd of the Union County Sheriff's office says, once in Achterberg's motel room police found a sizeable amount of narcotics and a nine-millimeter semi-automatic gun.

Police believe the gun found in the motel room was the weapon Achterberg used to shoot Stidham.

Sheriff Shepherd says, he believes that Achterberg was trying to change his appearance after finding hair and beard coloring gel along with whisker trimmings in the bathroom sink.

Achterberg was then transported to Adams County jail.

The Boone County Sheriff's office is scheduled to speak with Achterberg Thursday afternoon.

According to the Boone County's Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a home on the 5900 block of N. Kent Drive in Columbia to investigate a report of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Once on scene deputies discovered Stidham who had been shot. Stidman was still responsive and reportedly told officers that "Mark" had shot him.

The statement by Stidham was recorded on body-worn cameras.

Justin Stidham was then taken to a local hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Erika McGuire


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