Le Mars, IA man's death ruled drug overdose - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Le Mars, IA man's death ruled drug overdose

Near LE MARS, Iowa (KTIV) -

Authorities say a Le Mars, Iowa man whose death was deemed suspicious in December, died of a methamphetamine overdose.

The body of 57-year-old John Koley was found in the kitchen of his home by his son on December 13.

Police determined Koley had been dead for several days before his body was found. 

An autopsy by the state medical examiner ruled Koley's death "accidental acute drug intoxication."

The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office is focusing its investigation on finishing a forensic examination on computer and surveillance equipment seize from the residence.

The Plymouth County Sheriff said the State of Iowa Medical Examiner's Office released the preliminary results of the autopsy of 57-year-old John Peter Koley of Le Mars. 

The sheriff said there is no evidence of blunt force trauma, gunshot or knife wounds. 

The cause and manner of death are still pending on toxicology results. 

The sheriff said the results are anticipated in 10 to 14 days. 

The Plymouth and Woodbury County Sheriff's Office crime scene team finished processing the residence Thursday. 

The sheriff said the death is still being treated as suspicious and they continue to follow up on information received.  

The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office is investigating the cause of 57-year-old John Peter Koley's death as "suspicious." 

They say they're weighing all options: a homicide, suicide, accidental death, and natural causes are on the table.     

The sheriff's office says Koley was discovered in the kitchen area of his home by his son just after 4 p.m., Wednesday afternoon. 

Officers at the scene determined Koley had been dead for several days before his body was found. 

Koley's neighbor, Russ Holzman, says Koley lived at the home for about 15 years. 

Holzman says Koley had been living at the home by himself since he and his wife divorced and his family moved out. 

Holzman says he hadn't seen Koley for a week before his body was discovered. 

He says he wasn't completely surprised when he heard Koley was found dead. 

"Heard the law enforcement said it was a suspicious death and it's not real surprising I guess because there's a lot of vehicles coming in and out of there all times of the day and night over the last year or so," said Holzman. 

Holzman says he would see cars leaving and entering the house as late as midnight some nights. 

Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo says his deputies aren't unfamiliar with the home.     

"We've had some calls out here previously which I'm not going to go into at this point in time," said Plymouth Co. Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo. "The main reason we think it's a suspicious death is we just don't know because of the time delay between the death and discovering him." 

Koley's autopsy will be performed Friday morning at 8 a.m.

The Sheriff's Office says they hope to have a lot of questions answered by noon, Friday. 

Woodbury County's crime scene investigators are leading the investigation. 


The Plymouth County Sheriff is investigating a suspicious death at a home east of Le Mars, Iowa.

On Wednesday afternoon, authorities got a call from an individual who found his father dead in the kitchen of a home at 34782 Highway 3. When emergency personnel arrived, they found the body of 57-year-old John Peter Koley inside the home.

Officers, who are investigating the incident, determined the death had occurred several days before the body was found.

The death is being investigated as suspicious. Investigators haven't ruled out homicide, suicide, accidental death, or a death from natural causes. Investigators continue to process the scene. 

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday, December 15. 

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