Two high school students from Fairfield, Iowa, have been accused of the death of a Spanish teacher in an incident that has shocked the community.
Nohema Graber, 66, was a Spanish teacher at Fairfield High School since 2012, reported USA Today . The police confirmed this Thursday that the body found on Wednesday in Chautauqua Park in that city belonged to the woman, who had been reported missing that same day.
Graber, a mother of three, was, one of her daughters wrote on Facebook, “an absolute angel in our family.”
According to a statement posted on the City of Fairfield Facebook page, Willard Noble Chaiden Miller and Jeremy Everett Goodale, both 16 and students from the same school where Graber taught were charged with first degree murder for his death and with first degree conspiracy to commit murder.
“Based on the circumstances and their ages, Miller and Goodale are being criminally charged as adults,” the statement details.
Why are the police accusing the two teenagers in this crime?
Nohema Graber was last seen this Tuesday in Chautauqua Park, where she used to walk every afternoon. Investigators found his body there, under a tarp, a wheelbarrow and railroad tracks.
According to the local newspaper Des Moines Register, the preliminary investigation indicated that Graber had suffered “a trauma inflicted in the head”, reason why they believe that she was assassinated.
The police reached out to the two teenagers as a person close to both gave information on exchanges on social networks which indicated that Goodale apparently knew specific details of the teacher’s disappearance and death, Miller’s alleged involvement and the planning of the crime, as well as a possible motive that was not detailed in the court filings.
The person who knows the teens allegedly met Goodale at the park Tuesday afternoon and saw Miller there as well. He described the clothes Goodale was wearing and was later found by police in a search at his home, with traces of blood.
According to him Des Moines Register, who had access to the criminal complaint, in questioning Miller allegedly admitted that he was there while the crime was taking place, that he provided the materials used and that he helped conceal the body.
Graber, a Fairfield Latino Community Leader
Acquaintances of Nohema Graber described her as a leader in Fairfield’s Latino community.
“He was an exceptional person, a lovely person … especially with his family and even with his students,” he told the Register Edith Cabrera, 55, a city resident and friend of Graber since 2005. “We don’t know what happened. Why? She was a great friend, a great community leader and an even better person,” he added.
Laurie Noll, superintendent of the Fairfield Community School District, said in a statement Thursday that “in her nine years at Fairfield High School, Mrs. Graber touched the lives of many students, parents and staff.”
“We extend our condolences to Mrs. Graber’s family, friends and loved ones. At this time, the well-being of our students and staff is our top priority. As a community, we will stand together in this time of tragedy, “wrote Noll.
Fairfield High School ended its classes earlier Thursday and suspended classes this Friday, when a vigil will be held to commemorate the teacher.