DUBUQUE, Iowa (TCD) -- An Illinois native pleaded guilty to killing his ex-girlfriend in Iowa and leaving her body in the city's arboretum.
Dubuque County Court records show 22-year-old Richard Forsythe pleaded guilty on Oct. 26 after initially entering a not guilty plea in February. KCRG-TV reports Forsythe was charged with first-degree murder following his arrest, but the plea agreement is for second-degree murder.
According to a Dubuque Police Department news release, on Feb. 1, officers went to the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens after receiving a report about "suspicious items" on the property. During their search, officers discovered the body of 20-year-old Jennifer Lopez.
Court documents reportedly noted Forsythe's shoe prints "appeared consistent with prints located in snow at the scene," according to the Telegraph Herald.
Forsythe was identified as a suspect and was arrested soon after.
According to the Telegraph Herald, which cites court documents, Forsythe went to the Jo Daviess County Sheriff's Department and had "blood on his clothing and person." While speaking with investigators, he reportedly admitted he was with Lopez over the weekend and had her driver's license with him. Her car was later found in a ditch in Bureau County, Illinois.
Lopez was reportedly stabbed 15 times. Executive director of the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Sandi Helgerson told the Tribune Herald Lopez's body was found in a wooded and undeveloped part of the property.