Man goes on the run before sentencing in murder case

OTTUMWA, IA – A convicted murderer from Iowa has reportedly disappeared after failing to appear in court for his verdict hearing. Gregory Showalter Sr., 63, was found guilty of murdering his wife in absentia after he failed to show up for the court hearing on Friday.

Showalter had been out on bail since August 2021, after a judge permitted him to post 10% of his $250,000 bond. The conditions of his bail required him to attend all court hearings and wear a GPS monitor. However, when police visited his residence in Ottumwa, they discovered he was missing.

A woman, who identified herself as a friend of Showalter, was found at his residence. She informed the police that Showalter had given her his car keys, stating that he no longer needed them. She assumed he was walking to the courthouse but was unaware of his current whereabouts.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety has issued an arrest warrant for Showalter, who is now considered “armed and dangerous.” He is charged with Failure to Appear – Murder in the First Degree.

Showalter was not present when the jury delivered their guilty verdict on September 22, 2023, for the murder of his wife in August 2021. Showalter, who stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds, is now a fugitive from justice.

Prosecutors claim that Showalter lured his wife, Helen, to a job site in 2021 amidst their divorce proceedings after over 40 years of marriage. He then allegedly killed her and disposed of her body along the Des Moines River. Helen’s body was discovered floating in the river the day after her family reported her missing.

Despite an extensive search, Showalter remains at large. A police dog tracked a scent to a nearby motel but was unable to locate him. The police found no signs of Showalter at his residence.

Showalter’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 16. In Iowa, a conviction for first-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.