Minors charged in death of Fairfield teacher

John Jensen
Mid-America Publishing

FAIRFIELD — A pair of Fairfield High School students have been charged with first-degree murder following the death of a Fairfield High School Spanish teacher.
    Willard Noble Chaiden Miller and Jeremy Everett Goodale, both 16 years old, have been charged in the death of 66-year-old Nohema Graber.
    According to the Jefferson County Attorney’s office, human remains were discovered in Chautauqua Park, on the east edge of Fairfield, Nov. 3. They were identified as Graber, who had been reported missing earlier in the day.
    Special agents with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) conducted a preliminary investigation into the circumstances surrounding Graber’s death and determined that it appeared to be a homicide.
    According to court records, Graber was located in an area where she frequently walked. Her body was concealed by a tarp, wheelbarrow and railroad ties. A preliminary investigation indicated that Graber had suffered trauma to her head.
    Court records also indicated that law enforcement received information from an associate of both Goodale and Miller’s who provided them with social media exchanges that indicated Goodale having specific details of Graber’s disappearance and subsequent death. Information included information on the motive, planning and execution of the alleged crime. Records indicated that other social media exchanges pointed to Miller’s presence and involvement in Graber’s death.
    Records indicated that a search warrant conducted at Goodale and Miller’s residences turned up multiple clothing items that appeared to have blood on them. The criminal complaint noted that an associate of Goodale’s, who reported meeting with him on the afternoon of Nov. 2, indicated that he had seen Goodale wearing clothing consistent with that found with apparent bloodstains. This associate also reported seeing Miller at the same time.
    Records went on to note that during an interview with investigators, Miller admitted to being in Chautauqua Park as the alleged murder was taking place, providing items used in the alleged murder and aiding in actions taken to conceal the alleged murder. 
    Miller and Goodale have been charged as adults. They are facing charges of Murder First Degree, a Class A Felony, and Conspiracy to Commit Homicide in the First Degree, a C Felony. Both Miller and Goodale are facing $1 million bonds.
    Graber, 66, had taught at Fairfield High School since 2012. High school students in the district were dismissed at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, though other buildings remained in session. All classes on Friday, Nov. 5 were canceled. District superintendent Dr. Laurie Noll released a statement saying, “Fairfield Community School District is saddened by the tragic death of longtime teacher, Mrs. Nohema Graber. In her nine years with Fairfield High School, Mrs. Graber touched the lives of many students, parents, and staff. 
    “We extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones of Mrs. Graber,” Noll said. “At this time our students’ and staffs’ well-being is our top priority. As a community, we will remain united in this time of tragedy.”
    Personnel from the Fairfield Police Department, Fairfield Fire Department, Iowa State Patrol, Jefferson County Emergency Management, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and Jefferson County Attorney’s Office assisted the DCI with the investigation.
    The investigation into Graber’s death continues. Law enforcement would like to thank the public for their tips and concern following the announcement of Graber’s disappearance. Law enforcement does not believe there is an ongoing risk to the public.   
    It is Mid-America Publishing’s usual policy not to print the names of minors charged with crimes. Due to the nature of the charges against the individuals and the fact that their names have been released by other media sources, we have made an exception to that policy.




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