Lucy Studey, the alleged serial killer’s daughter, claims her father murdered five or six women per year over a span of decades. She says he buried the bodies in and around a well near his property in rural Iowa, which is about 40 miles outside of Omaha, Nebraska.
Studey claims her father killed as many as 50 to 70 women over three decades. She said her father made her and her siblings assist him in bringing the bodies to the well and burying them, Newsweek reports.
“He would just tell us we had to go to the well, and I knew what that meant,” Studey told Newsweek. “Every time I went to the well or into the hills, I didn’t think I was coming down. I thought he would kill me because I wouldn’t keep my mouth shut.”
Studey recalls that after they put they bodies in the well, they would cover them with dirt and lye. The 90-foot well has since been filled in.
Police took cadaver dogs to investigate the property, where they claim the dogs had a “hit.”
“We don’t have any proof of anything other than we had a cadaver dog hit,” Fremont County Sheriff Kevin Aistrope told the Des Moines Register. “We’ve got to have more proof than that.”
Studey’s older sister, Susan Studey, shot down the claims. “My father was not the man she makes him out to be,” Susan Studey told Newsweek. “I’m two years older than Lucy. I think I would know if my father murdered.”
The alleged victims
Lucy Studey claims that her father would lure his victims to his land before killing them. Donald Studey had about five acres of farmland and forested hills. Authorities suspect most of his victims would have been transient workers or sex workers.
“If we had had 70 missing persons from Omaha-Council Bluffs we would have picked up on that. So if there is 70 people they’re not all from here,” said Aistrope.
Lucy Studey says the women her father allegedly killed typically had dark hair, were in their 20s or 30s and white.
She claims her father would bury them in their clothes and jewelry. Her father kept gold teeth as trophies, she told Newsweek.
Studey claims her father was a ‘lifelong criminal’
“My father was a lifelong criminal and murderer,” Studey told Newsweek.
Donald Studey died in 2013 at the age of 75. He had a history of arrests during his lifetime, such as petty larceny and drunk driving, according to records obtained by Newsweek. Lucy Studey said her father was often drunk, had a bad temper and was in debt from his gambling habit.
“We’re going to do everything we can to prove or disprove there may be a crime scene,” Aistrope told KETV.
Local, state and federal authorities are all involved in the investigation, KETV reports. Fremont County is working with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the FBI.
Since the well has been filled in, digging it up would be an expensive and difficult project. Authorities are considering core drilling or bringing in more cadaver dogs first, KETV reports.