POLK COUNTY, Iowa (TCD) -- A jury convicted a 48-year-old man this week on charges related to the disappearance and death of a 30-year-old Des Moines woman whose remains have not yet been found.
In June 2021, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said Rachel Reuter's father reported his daughter missing to the Urbandale Police Department, and an investigation into her disappearance was launched.
According to the Polk County Attorney's Office, investigators obtained surveillance video that showed James Klever and Reuter had been at an Urbandale motel on June 11 and 12, 2021. Cellphone data showed that Klever and Reuter ended up at the same address in Bondurant on the night of June 12.
Investigators believe Klever killed Reuter the next day, June 13, in a garage before placing her body in his trunk. Klever reportedly told a witness he then disposed of her body near Cainsville, Missouri, and said he thought the victim was an informant.
According to the Attorney's Office, during the trial, Klever told jurors he got into a dispute with Reuter in the garage and hit her on the head "in the heat of passion." He also admitted to selling methamphetamine.
The Attorney's Office announced May 3 that a jury convicted Klever of first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Reuter reportedly moved to Des Moines from Wisconsin and had two children.
In a statement, Polk County Attorney Kimberly Graham said, "The relentlessness of investigation by law enforcement and the quality of the evidence made the difference in this case."