Skip to comments.Real Estate Agent Shot To Death In Model Home
Posted on 04/09/2011 1:43:21 AM PDT by hawkeye101
Real Estate Agent Shot To Death In Model Home
Iowa Realty Cancels Des Moines Area Open Houses
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- A real estate agent was shot to death Friday in a new townhome complex in West Des Moines. West Des Moines police have identified her as Ashley Okland, 27, of West Des Moines.
Polk County Medical Examiner Dr. Gregory Schmunk confirmed to KCCI that he was called in to examine Okland at Methodist Medical Center at about 3:30 p.m. Friday. Schmunk said she probably died within an hour of that call.
West Des Moines Lt. Jim Barrett said the shooting happened at the Stone Creek Villas. A woman who works for the builder of the development found Okland shot inside the model unit and called 911 at 2:09 p.m., police said.
Police said and Schmunk later confirmed that Okland was shot once in the head and once in the chest.
Police put up crime scene tape to block off the area around the model home. Police talked with neighbors in the area to see if they saw anything.
Police said no one has been arrested in connection with the shooting. Police said that "at this time there is no reason to believe that this is anything but an isolated incident, however, investigators are still trying to determine a motive and possible suspect(s) for the shooting."
The case is considered suspicious and remains under investigation.
Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact the West Des Moines Police Department at (515) 222-3344 or Polk County Crime Stoppers at (515) 223-1400.
Iowa Realty Reaction
A message was posted on Iowa Realty's Des Moines area website Friday afternoon saying, "We wish to inform you that all open houses are cancelled the weekend of April 9 & 10. Check back next week for updates."
The company also posted a note on it's Facebook page on Friday at 4:29 p.m.:
"To all Iowa Realty and Prudential First Realty Agents, I am asking that all of you immediately cancel any open houses you have scheduled this weekend. A few of you may be aware of a tragic incident, beyond comprehension, has occurred at a model home in West Des Moines this afternoon involving one of our Iowa Realty agents. I ask that you keep her in your prayers. Your safety is our chief concern here, and if the situation changes we will notify you immediately via email and voice-mail on your office phone." -- R. Michael Knapp, President and CEO
Prayers to the family.
There was a murder of a real estate agent who lived in my old neighborhood. My old neighborhood was upscale & safe,everyone knew each other,the kids all played with eatch other & I had a gorgeous turn of the century home as that was the plan for this particular neighborhood designed in the early 1900’s.
It’s called “Ten Hills” in Baltimore, MD.
One of our friends was a real estate agent and she went to show a home across the parkway in another neighborhood.
She never came home. Everyone was looking for her & I mean everyone. She was one of our church-goers & active on many committees back in the 1990’s.
She was eventually found brutally murdered and stuffed in upstairs closet in the home that she was showing across the parkway to an unknown male.
It was a sad day when she was found murdered like that & then shortly afterward her husband died of a heart attack.
Her murder affected me and everyone I know since that time.
It’s dangerous for real estate agents to enter empty homes with complete strangers.
Actually, it was a model home, with regular hours “open.” She was manning the store, so to speak. If you go to the source, you will see her photo...very sad and shocking.
I have many rentals and I sometimes worry about showing them to strangers and I am 6'8", 250lbs. Being alone with strangers in a home, any home, always involves risk.
If she was raped and killed it’s one thing. But if she was simply shot I’d go looking for hubby or an ex boyfriend.
Oh, I wasn’t disagreeing with you...you usually hear about these things when a particular “buyer” has arranged a meeting at an out-of-the-way home.
This development (believe me, I am very familiar with it) is very close to a major retail and entertainment district.
They interviewed a young woman on the news who lived there; she was jogging by that very location at the time of the murder...she said that she didn’t notice any odd vehicles “because it would never have occurred to her to look.” Several doors down, a couple was doing a final walk-through on a unit...they were signing papers as the hordes of police and ambulance units arrived.
The article does not say, but several others have, that the person who found the victim heard a “commotion” which prompted her to see what was going on (she was in an adjacent unit apparently)....whatever happened, happened fast. They will not elaborate at this time.
Adorable 4 BD, 2-1/2 bath home. Distress sale. Great financing. Exc. neighborhood. Showing Mon-Thurs. No "Looky Lou's." Please step over police tape.
That's gotta help bring down the price.
Much additional info about the victim here:
I’m reminded of a project I was on back in the early 80s. There were four model homes, single family homes that were built in a cluster (as opposed to in a row). One day it was discovered that several pieces of furniture disappeared from one of the homes including the entire dining room set. No one knew anything and no one saw a thing. I forgot how it was discovered but a painter took it. Of course his van parked in the driveway aroused no suspicion.
Any arrests? Convictions?
It really makes one wonder about a stalker situation. All Real Estate companies in the metro have called off “open houses” for the weekend since there is so little info at present.
It could also have been a squatter that objected to her objection for him to stay for free.
A good upwards of 20 percent of homes in some places are empty.
Projects usually have security during nighttime hours only. This incident may necessitate the need for security 24/7, an expense that would surely be passed on to the home buyers.
Yes, they caught the guy that knifed her death and I believe he was convicted if memory serves me right-he was a long time criminal and she innocently went across the parkway to show him a house in Hunting Hills after she had received a call from him to view the property. It was so tragic.
This comes directly on the heels of a Thursday morning incident in a nice suburb on the other side of Des Moines.
A 19-year-old scumbag had stolen a car hours before, and was NOT (I repeat NOT) being chased by anyone. He was driving an estimated 80 MPH on a typical suburban main street; blew a stop light and took out a 36-year-old Father of 2 kids who was on his way to his job as a mutual fund manager.
The comments after that article on the Register website were legendary...in fact, I cannot believe some of them were not taken down. Death penalty, dragging him behind a truck until dead, on and on. He was charged with vehicular homicide before days end...stunning, really. I think that people are on their last good nerve...and if it turns out that she was murdered by some crazed random lunatic...well, I can only imagine.
There’s been a few shootings in Michigan as well, this will be my wife’s last year in the “business”.
I tried real estate for a short time. I always carried a gun. Our realtor gave everyone some training. The ladies generally had to meet clients in the office first.
Open houses were handled with two people which generally helps.
My wife ( a RE broker) will NOT meet anyone to show a house without first meeting them at her office for qualification. She also has her CCW, and does carry a subcompact Beretta.
Why would she show a house to an ex?
“My old neighborhood was upscale & safe...
Its called Ten Hills in Baltimore, MD.”
No place in the DC-MD-Baltimore area is “safe.” I’m from PG County and if they ever legalize concealed carry, I will.
omg I know PG County-that’s rough living down there isn’t it?
I have been a property manager for 25 years. Over the years I have shown 1000’s of vacant apartments. I work in a one woman office so most of the time no one knows where I am and no one would miss me for several hours if anything happened to me. Usually it doesn’t bother me but occasionally I get a bad feeling when someone shows up to view an apartment. A few times I have made up a story that I have to stay in the office because I am expecting a very important call. I give the person a key and tell them where the vacant apartment is and let them look at it alone. I then call my husband or a friend and alert them to the situation.I figure that if they don’t return with the key shortly I can always have the locks changed on the vacant apartment again. I always keep my office locked and people must ring the door bell and I allow them in. I don’t like to be caught off guard by total strangers just walking in on me. I once got written up by a secret shopper because of that but my safety is more important, at least to me. There was a real estate agent killed in this area several years ago while she was showing a house.
That is close to the old “police suspect foul play”.
if they ever legalize concealed carry, I will.
What in heck does legalize have to do with it.
Is your personal safety an issue of legalization?
You are responsible, no one else, and government has put you in the pretzel position of having to juggle your personal safety and the law. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is the law, any other is trumped IMHO.
“omg I know PG County-thats rough living down there isnt it?”
It’s interesting, but it’s been home for 50 years. When I retire I’m definitely going to unass the AO (Area of Operations). Move out west to a sparsely-populated square state.
“What in heck does legalize have to do with it.”
My going to jail for one thing. If I stick it out for a few more years I’m gone.
go north, northwest
god i’m so glad i’m out of Maryland what a ghetto.
If I stick it out for a few more years Im gone.
I should ask where?
Best of Luck.
“Why would she show a house to an ex?”
Killer hired by ex. Boyfriend or ex knew she’d be there at that time etc. This sounds more like a hit than some sex fiend or psycho. I watch too many cable crime shows etc...
Have visited 'model' homes in a development near our home. When inquiring; noticed doors, often left unlocked.
No doubt, 'details' will follow. . .there is no justice here for this young women; but hope, nonetheless, it was someone she knew. It might at least, give some sense to what is - no matter what, of course - a horrible unfolding.
Meant to clarify; i.e. doors left unlocked; and no one there.
“I should ask where?”
One of those big square states, maybe Wyoming.
Sometimes, they just 'show up'. . .uninvited; and without an appoinitment.
I grew up in Mont. Co. in the 70’s, finally left in the early 90’s.
Last time I visited I couldn’t believe what had become of the place.
PS: Sometimes you have to carry, I did when I worked a job in Anacostia during the Marion Berry days.
“My wife ( a RE broker) will NOT meet anyone to show a house without first meeting them at her office for qualification. She also has her CCW, and does carry a subcompact Beretta.”
One of our best friends is a realtor and screens her potential customers on her cell phone before meeting them at the office with her husband and BIL. Both are big guys and wear NRA pins.
Her biggest concern was open houses. Before she stopped working open houses, her husband or BIL would man a portable table just inside the door. Both have C&C permits, and they would display NRA magazines on the table. No one toured the house until their Driver’s license was scan/copied and emailed to their office/home computer.
Anyone, who had a problem with that, were told they couldn’t see the house.
After the financial meltdown, they don’t do open houses.
what the heck were you doing in Anacostia??? that’s worse than Detroit.
nice to see you have found some peace.
Beautiful woman in a job where she's alone in a house with complete strangers all the time. What could possibly go wrong?
I was reading a book, "What Cops Know", where dozens of cops were interviewed to give their knowledge of the street. One thing I remember is that some rapists/serial killers target female real estate agents precisely because being in an empty house with them provides a good opportunity to have their way with the woman and be long gone before she's missed.
Working at a detention facility at St. E’s. Actually, the grounds there are pretty secure and very beautiful. Some of the buildings (from the 1870’s and 1880’s) are a bit run down but the landscaping is amazing, huge trees and a overgrown ravine. It’s been around longer than Rock Creek Park.
What’s sad is that there are decent working folks there that can’t get out.