Fiancée found bludgeoned victim, testifies in 1992 murder case against Annette Cahill

MUSCATINE, Iowa -- The woman who found her fiancé Corey Wieneke bludgeoned to death in the bedroom of their West Liberty home wept as she told jurors of the horrific discovery she made in 1992.

Jody Willier, then known as Jody Hotz, took the stand Wednesday in the trial against Wieneke's alleged killer, Annette Cahill, 56, telling jurors that she loved him, despite his relations with other women, including with Cahill.

She says she came home from her work at a credit union on the evening of October 13, to find the couple's dog unchained and Wieneke's car still parked outside. Wieneke worked at his family's bar at the time and should have left for work at that time, she said. Inside their small home, it didn't take long to cross the kitchen toward the bedroom. She says she saw Corey lying face down by the bed in his underwear.

"I couldn’t see his face, his face was turned toward the bed. But I could see the rest of him. There was blood," she recalled.

"I touched him and said his name, and of course, nothing," she said.

Muscatine County Attorney Alan Ostergren then played the 911 call she made, sobbing as she called for help.

Willier and Wieneke were 22 years old at the time. They had gone to school together and dated since they were 17 or 18 years old, she said. She accepted his ring and they agreed to marry.

After his death, she said she "had no want to ever go back to the house."

Wieneke was "easy going, just light-hearted, easy to talk to. He was sweet. He was just a kind person," she said.

But the defense painted a different picture, suggesting that other motives and suspects may have been involved.

"Was he involved with gambling? Was he involved with drugs?" Defense attorney Clemens Erdahl asked Muscatine County Sheriff C.J. Ryan, who was part of the original investigation. The sheriff answered in the affirmative.

The defense on Tuesday pointed out that no physical evidence and no fingerprints were ever found at the crime scene or on the bat.

A forensic pathologist told jurors Wieneke died of blunt force trauma and the bruises and lacerations on his head and body were likely caused by a cylindrical object like a pipe or a bat.

A blood-stained aluminum softball bat was later found one mile from Wieneke's home.

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