Step-Brother Arrested in Cold Case Murder of Iowa 22-Year-Old
The story is all too familiar to people in Cedar Rapids. A young woman, brutally murdered and found in a car. Just like the 1979 death of Cedar Rapids teen Michelle Martinko, an arrest has been made in a similar case... this one from the late 1990s.
Kimberly Ratliff of Council Bluffs was just 22-years-old when she was brutally murdered in January of 1999. A man plowing snow in a parking lot found her frozen body on the front seat of her car. Iowa Cold Cases says she had been mutilated and was almost decapitated. Ratliff had last been seen more than three days before when she left her job in Omaha, Nebraska.
It was a tough case for investigators because there was very little blood or evidence at the scene. Authorities believed that someone had changed Ratliff's clothes before placing her in the car and leaving it in the parking lot of People's Natural Gas days earlier. They had a suspect, but no arrest ever came. Until now.
Thursday night, October 15, Ratliff's step-brother Matt W. Kennedy was arrested in Fairfield, Montana, and charged with first-degree murder in her death. He's being held, awaiting extradition to Iowa to face the charge. Kennedy, now 52, lived in Council Bluffs at the time of Ratliff's death, according to KETV.
WHO-TV in Des Moines interviewed Ratliff's mother, Joyce Kennedy, and step-father, Leslie Kennedy, in the early 2000s. You can watch that below.