An Iowa Spanish teacher is dead, and two students unhappy over a poor grade are to blame, according to prosecutors.
The grisly murder rocked the small town of Fairfield, which holds only about 9,400 residents. On November 3rd, 2021, the remains of Nohema Graber were located in a park she was known to do her daily walk. The day before her badly battered body was found, Graber met with Willard Miller at Fairfield High School to discuss a bad grade he had received. It’s unknown how the conversation went, but authorities believe the 16-year-old recruited friend Jeremy Goodale, also 16, to kill Graber while she was in the park.
Her van was captured exiting the park with two males in the front seat, believed to be Miller and Goodale. The boys abandoned the vehicle at the end of a rural road and were picked up by someone as they walked on foot, though that person’s name was not publicized.
Graber had been beaten to death with a baseball bat, and her body was concealed underneath a tarp, wheelbarrow, and railroad ties. Investigators were led to the teens, who bragged about her death on Snapchat. Goodale allegedly sent messages to a friend on the app that implicated himself and Miller by name.
During an interview with police, Miller expressed frustrations with Graber’s teaching style and was upset that she issued him a grade that lowered his GPA. He initially denied killing Graber but claimed he knew who did and was forced to help get rid of her remains.
Defense attorneys for both boys, now 17, have argued that the authorities illegally obtained search warrants and are requesting that the Snapchat messages be suppressed. A hearing was set on Wednesday to hear disputes from both sides. No decision has been made regarding the evidence. Goodale is set to stand trial in December, while Miller’s trial is scheduled for March 2023. Both are being tried as adults on first-degree murder charges.