COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (TCD) — Police took a 61-year-old man into custody about three months after his 60-year-old missing girlfriend was found deceased in a roadside ditch.
Council Bluffs Police announced Wednesday, May 24, that Ivan Samuel Brammer was arrested on charges of abuse of a corpse and second-degree theft in connection with Ilene Gowan’s death. Gowan’s daughter reported her missing Feb. 15 after not hearing from her for several days. Her body was found over a week later on Feb. 26.
The medical examiner’s office said Gowan’s cause and manner of death were undetermined.
According to Brammer’s affidavit, he and Gowan had an “on-again/off-again and volatile relationship with much verbal fighting and alcohol involved.” One of Gowan’s relatives said Brammer “was not a nice person and did not treat Gowan with respect.”
One time, he allegedly choked her during an argument. Their relationship also allegedly became more volatile when alcohol was involved.
A week before she went missing, Brammer allegedly kicked Gowan out of the apartment they shared and demanded $300 cash. The affidavit says Gowan kept $1,500 cash in a safe, but Brammer was holding onto it until she paid him. She eventually got her safe back after paying him, and she gave it to someone else to hold onto.
On the morning of Feb. 13, surveillance video reportedly captured Brammer and Gowan in his car, and at first, she was “acting normal in all respects and uninjured sitting upright on the passenger side of Brammer’s truck.”
Then, video of Brammer’s truck shows Gowan “awkwardly slumped in the passenger seat.”
Later, she is not seen at all in his vehicle.
According to the affidavit, Gowan sustained “multiple injuries on her body,” including contusions and abrasions on her head, head, chest, back, and hip. Her body was reportedly in a state of decomposition by the time officials found her. Assistant State Medical Examiner Dr. Kelly Kruse could not rule out asphyxia or blood loss as causes of death.
Brammer allegedly changed his story numerous times when speaking with detectives and would “change his story to conform to the facts presented.” He reportedly deposited $1,200 cash into his bank account the day Gowan was reported missing.
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