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Thursday, May 5, 2016


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

$1 million bond

Police continued to struggle on Monday to make sense of a brutal attack in which a Storm Lake teenager is accused of murdering his brother and stabbing his mother and father Sunday night.

Jose Eduardo Tovar, age 18, is charged with First Degree Murder in the stabbing death of his brother, Miguel Angel Tovar, 21, who was found dead of multiple wounds in the family's small rental house at 207 Seneca.

He was charged with two counts of Attempted Murder for allegedly inflicting multiple stab wounds to his parents, Jose Arturo Tovar, age 45, and Maria Vela Tovar, age 52. They were also found in the home.

They were both transported by ambulance to the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center and were later transferred by helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, where their condition was not being revealed on Monday. Public Safety Director Mark Prosser said police officials were able to speak to both of the parents.

"We don't have a motive at this time," Prosser said. "We are done at the crime scene, and now we will just continue to talk to people and gather information so we can try to put the pieces together."

Jose Tovar was held without bond in the Buena Vista County Jail, and on Monday, a judge set bond at $1 million. Prosser said he had not had any previous criminal problems in the city.

The owner of the rental home on Seneca said that the family had resided there since about Thanksgiving. Jail records indicate that Jose Tovar was born in Mexico. Immigration status was not noted.

The homeowner knew of no previous problems with the family. One report, indicating that he had previously been on probation in an alcohol related offense, could not be confirmed at presstime.

Shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday, Storm Lake Police were called to a residence at 224 Oneida Street for a report of a disturbance.

When police arrived, they found that a man had come to the house armed with a knife and asked to use the phone to call 911. The residents of that home were not involved in the incident, and they were not harmed.

Police located Jose Tovar inside of the residence and took him into custody without incident. A knife was located and seized at the residence.

While police were at the Oneida Street address, a second disturbance call believed to have come from the suspect's wounded father summoned officers to the 207 Seneca home - a few houses south of the Oneida Street address and across the alley to the west, just down the street from the St. Mary's school area.

Officers entered the house and found the three victims bleeding from multiple stab wounds. Paramedics were called to the scene, and officers blocked off the street and cordoned off the home with warning tape as the mobile command unit set up in front of the home on Seneca.

Police conducted a series of interviews throughout the early morning hours Monday, assisted by the Buena Vista County Sheriff's Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. An Iowa DCI Crime Lab Unit was dispatched from Des Moines and arrived in Storm Lake to investigate the crime scene. The Buena Vista County Medical Examiners Office assisted with the scene investigation.

Also assisting with response to the calls and the investigation was the Iowa State Patrol, the Alta Police Department, the Buena Vista County Attorney's Office and the Storm Lake Fire Department.

The State Medical Examiners Office plans to conduct an autopsy on Miguel Tovar Tuesday.

Tovar is scheduled to appear in court on March 2.

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