PREVIEW: Who murdered Wilma Nissen?


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A new kind of testing could be the key to solving a northwest Iowa cold case. The investigation began in 1978, when someone discovered a woman’s body in a Lyon County ditch.

“To have a Jane Doe found in the middle of nowhere who is not even from around here. Where do you even start?” Jerry Birkey, retired detective, said.

In 2006, more than three decades after her death, authorities identified the woman as Wilma Nissen– a prostitute and dancer. That’s when the search began for her killer.

A year later, the Lyon County Sheriff released a photo of another woman connected to the case. She went by the name of “Sugar.”

Kennecke: Do you believe she killed Wilma?
Birkey: I don’t know who I believe killed Wilma, but I know there are several people who know who killed Wilma; or that were there and saw Wilma get killed. Now whether she did it or not, I don’t know. Whether she knows about it, I do believe she knows about it.

Investigators may have the evidence to link multiple people to the crime. In tonight’s KELOLAND News Investigation, we’ll dive into the evidence and we’ll hear from Wilma’s daughter – a woman on a mission to find out who murdered her mother.

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