Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Steven and Sheryl Sueppel with their children.
Police identified the children as Ethan, 10; Seth, 8; Mira, 5; and Eleanor, 3.

Suicidal Iowa Man's 911 Call,
Other DetailsOffer Possible Answers to Brutal Family Killings
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa — An embattled former bank executive committed suicide by crashing his van after killing his wife and making failed attempts to asphyxiate their four children in a garage, then slaying them individually, authorities said Tuesday.

Steven Sueppel, who had been charged with embezzlement, was missing after his family's bodies were discovered Monday morning. His van was found wrecked and ablaze on Interstate 80 about nine miles away, and police said they used dental records to identify the burned body inside as Sueppel's.


Sueppel left a long note in the family's kitchen addressed to no one in particular. He also left voice mail messages at the family's home, at the bank where he once worked and at the law office of his father and brother.

One of the messages indicated Sueppel believed his family was in heaven, Steffen said.

"He did indicate in his note that ever since his problems came to light that he was having trouble dealing with this issue, but again no specific incident or cause was identified as to why it happened now," Steffen said. "He apologized ... numerous times."

Police identified the children as Ethan, 10; Seth, 8; Mira, 5; and Eleanor, 3.


Court records show that Steven Sueppel, 42, was indicted last month on charges of stealing about $560,000 from Hills Bank and Trust in Johnson County, where he was vice president and controller.

He pleaded not guilty to embezzlement and money laundering in U.S. District Court and was released on a $250,000 personal bond. The government was also seeking the forfeiture of the money he was accused of stealing.


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