- A woman claimed that her now-deceased father killed between 50 and 70 women during his lifetime.
- She added that she and her siblings were forced to move the bodies and help bury them.
- Human remains have not yet been uncovered, but authorities will continue to investigate.
An Iowa woman claimed that her now-deceased father killed between 50 and 70 women over a three-decade span, prompting a police investigation, Newsweek reported Saturday.
“My father was a lifelong criminal and murderer,” Lucy Studey told the outlet, continuing an accusation against her father, Donald Dean Studey, that she says she’s been making for 45 years.
Lucy Studey said most of her father’s victims were dark-haired white women in their 20s or 30s — with the exception of a victim who was a 15-year-old runaway. She added that the majority of the women were either sex workers or visitors that he came across in Omaha, Nebraska.
Lucy Studey said he killed the victims by shooting them, stabbing them, or smashing their heads in.
“No one would listen to me,” she told Newsweek, saying she went to her teacher and local authorities regarding her father’s alleged crimes. “The teacher said family matters should be handled as a family, and law enforcement has said they couldn’t trust the memory of a child. I was just a kid then, but I remember it all.”
Lucy Studey told the outlet that her father, who died in 2013, would have her and her siblings move the bodies in a wheelbarrow or a toboggan before he would dump them in a 90- to-100-foot well on their five-acre property in Thurman, Iowa, a city with a population of 164 people about 40 miles away from Omaha, according to the 2021 United States Census Bureau.
“He would just tell us we had to go to the well, and I knew what that meant,” she 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.”
Iowa’s Division of Criminal Investigation, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Department, the Omaha Police Department, and the Omaha division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation are involved in the case and the search for remains following Lucy Studey’s accusations against her late father.
“I don’t feel anything for my father. Nothing at all,” she told Newsweek. “I wanted justice when my father was alive, but he’s gone. I just want for the families some closure and a proper burial.”
On October 21, authorities began searching the area with two cadaver dogs that picked up on multiple locations in the area where remains may have been buried, according to USA Today.
“I really think there’s bones there,” Fremont County Sheriff Kevin Aistrope told Newsweek. “It’s hard for me to believe that two dogs would hit in the exact same places and be false. We don’t know what it is. The settlers were up there. There was Indian Country up there as well, but I tend to believe Lucy.”
Aistrope added: “Right now, we don’t even have a bone. According to the dogs, this is a very large burial site.”
If authorities find the accusations to be true, Donald Dean Studey would be among some of the most prolific serial killers in the US, including Samuel Little, who was confirmed to have killed over 60 people.
In a statement to Insider, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said the investigation “is in the infancy stages with a lot of work to be completed. There is nothing more that will be released at this time.”
“She’s made these claims to the office and we’re looking into it,” Fremont County Sheriff’s Sgt. Andrew Wake told NBC News. “We’re trying to gather information to establish credibility and see if we can get evidence if there are bodies buried there or not.”
Lucy Studey’s sister Susan, however, denied the accusations that her father was a serial killer, suggesting the cadaver dogs had detected animal bones or the remains of their stillborn sister. However, cadaver dogs are trained to find human remains and places where human remains once were.
The FBI and the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. Insider sent comments for request to contact information appearing to belong to Lucy and Susan Studey.