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Investigations continue in unsolved murder cases

Investigations continue in unsolved murder cases

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Two weeks after a stabbing homicide, Council Bluffs police are still searching for new leads.

Nelson "Selena" Alvarez-Hernandez, 32, of Omaha was found unconscious and bleeding heavily on the lawn at 1613 S. 13th St. in the early morning hours of July 31.

Alvarez-Hernandez died soon after at Creighton University Medical Center.

Detective Todd Weddum said no new leads have emerged in the case and he is asking that anyone with information come forward.

Alvarez-Hernandez was "openly gay," according to Weddum and went by several aliases, both male and female. Weddum said Alvarez-Hernandez preferred to go by the name "Selena" and often dressed as a woman.

There is no evidence so far to indicate Alvarez-Hernandez was killed because of his sexual orientation, Weddum said.

Alvarez-Hernandez was last seen alive around 12:30 a.m. July 31 at a bar in south Omaha.

A little more than an hour later, Alvarez-Hernandez was found on the lawn of 1613 S. 13th St.

In the meantime, Weddum said anyone with information about the homicide can call him at 328-4949 or Crime Stoppers at 328-STOP. Crime Stoppers callers do not have to give their names.

Alvarez's death is not the only one to go unsolved.

Other unsolved murders in Council Bluffs or involving Council Bluffs residents include:

- Michelle Fergus, 33, of Council Bluffs was killed in July after an unknown person dropped a landscaping stone off the Sprague Street overpass in Omaha onto a vehicle she was a passenger in.

Fergus had been a passenger in the 2001 Mazda Protege driven by her boyfriend, Christopher Reinert, 26, also of Council Bluffs.

Reports said the two were traveling north on Interstate 680 and had just gone under the Sprague Street overpass when a large rock crashed through the windshield, striking Fergus in the chest and face. Reinert drove her to the hospital where she died soon after.

Because of the nature of her death, Omaha Police are treating it as a homicide.

- Kimberly Ratliff, 22, was found dead in her 1988 Plymouth Sundance , which was parked on the north side of People's Natural Gas, 1414 W. Broadway, on Jan. 12, 1999.

Autopsy results said she died from a deep laceration to her throat, and she had suffered several stab wounds to her upper torso.

Investigators believe she was killed somewhere else, then placed in her car. The car was then moved and parked where she was found.

No suspects have been linked to the evidence.

- John Adams, 23, of Omaha died from a single gunshot to the head on July 11, 1982. He was shot in the 2500 block of West Broadway after an altercation with two men riding motorcycles.

A witness told police the fight started in Omaha after a traffic confrontation.

A parking lot full of people witnessed the shooting, but no one reported seeing anything, and witnesses frustrated investigators by giving conflicting descriptions of the men and their motorcycles.

- Lee Rotatori, 32, of Nunica, Mich., died of a single stab wound to the heart at the Best Western Village Inn Motel at 24th Street and Interstate 80 on June 25, 1982.

In what was dubbed an execution-style murder by investigators, Rotatori had suffered no other injuries.

She had just moved to Council Bluffs and was employed as a dietitian at Jennie Edmundson Hospital.

- Linda Mayfield, 21, of Omaha, died April 25, 1982, after she was stabbed 13 times in the parking lot at the Starlite Motel, 3320 W. Broadway.

An Omaha woman who was with Mayfield when police arrived was held as a material witness and was released later after being interviewed.

No motive for the murder was ever discovered.

- The "Club 64" double murder of club manager Paul Rayer, 55, of Ralston, Neb., and John Stephens, 32, a Council Bluffs police officer who also worked as a guard a the restaurant, occurred on Dec. 5, 1967.

Investigators believe robbery was the motive. About $1,500 was missing from the club.

- Joe Floyd Jr., 42, of Council Bluffs, was found along the railroad tracks on 10th Avenue on July 1, 1967.

Fragments of small caliber bullets had been found in his head.

- Gloria Slump, 24, of Council Bluffs, was found March 6, 1967, under a railroad trestle three miles south of Council Bluffs off County Road G.

Her throat had been slashed. The principle suspect in the case later took his own life.

- Frank Eckels, 73, of Oakland was determined by investigators to have been the victim of a robbery after he was shot to death in December 1958.

- George Massouris, 30, was found slain in the taxicab he was driving on Nov. 18, 1950.

His body was found in the cab in a ditch on Old Orchard Road about two miles east of Council Bluffs.

Robbery was again the apparent motive.

- Henry Christensen, 58, was found dead on June 21, 1941, in the garage at his home at 1735 Grand Ave.

One person was later tried and acquitted of a murder charge in this case.

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