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No evidence found in excavation at Iowa site after woman claimed father was a serial killer

A three-day search in southwestern Iowa that followed a woman’s claims that her late father was a serial killer has turned up no evidence, state officials said Thursday.

The excavation was at a property in Thurman, in Fremont County, where the woman claimed the bodies were buried, said Mitch Mortvedt, an assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

The state Department of Public Safety, of which the division is a part, said in a statement, “After exhaustive efforts, no evidence or other items of concern were recovered.”

Lucy Studey has claimed that her late father, Donald Dean Studey, was a serial killer who buried bodies around his property in Thurman, according to Newsweek, which first reported the story.

Mortvedt said the investigation is over.

“There is nothing further to corroborate the claims against Mr. Studey,” he said.

Lucy Studey’s sister Susan said Thursday that the claims against her father were “absolutely not true.”

“I love my sister very much, but somewhere in her life she got misguided,” Susan said in a phone interview. She said her late father’s name has been cleared.

The Public Safety Department said the recent excavation included “an array of experts representing several disciplines and significant assets to excavate, collect and examine soil samples from a site identified by a reporting party.”

Oct. 26, 202201:44

Lucy Studey stood by her claims Thursday.

“My full siblings and I know what actually happened, and I’m the only one speaking the truth,” she said, adding, “I was told at the beginning the investigation is a marathon, not a sprint.”

The Public Safety Department said last month it was working with federal and local authorities to try to corroborate the report of “multiple historic homicides” in rural Fremont County, which has a population of 6,600.