Iowa murder suspect arrested in Rifle on Thursday |

Iowa murder suspect arrested in Rifle on Thursday

Ryan Summerlin
This photo released by the Garfield County Sheriff's Office shows Michael Lee Syperda. The Colorado man has been charged in the cold-case killing of his estranged wife in Iowa, where they used to live and where she was last seen 17 years ago. Syperda, 52, was taken into custody without incident Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, near Glenwood Springs, Colo., which is about 130 miles west of Denver, according to the Iowa Public Safety Department. (Garfield County Sheriff's Office via AP)
AP | Garfield County Sheriff’s Office

Authorities have arrested a 52-year-old man in Rifle as a suspect in a 2000 murder in Iowa.

Local and federal officers found Michael Lee Syperda staying in a Rifle apartment on Thursday.

The Garfield County Threat Assessment Group worked with federal agents from Homeland Security and a U.S. Marshals Service Violent Fugitive Task Force to track the 52-year-old to an apartment complex on the 3000 block of Coal Mine Avenue. He had an active Iowa warrant for first-degree murder.

Syperda was the estranged husband of an Iowa woman, 22-year-old Elizabeth Syperda, who went missing 17 years ago.

The young woman was last seen by her roommate in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, according to Iowa Cold Cases. At about 10:30 p.m. on July 16, 2000, the roommate left their residence for work, and when she returned early the next morning, Elizabeth Syperda was gone.

The 22-year-old had, at that time, been living separate from her husband for two years, and only a month before her disappearance, Michael Syperda was arrested on assault of his wife and her roommate, according to ICC.

Four months after she vanished, he pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery and domestic abuse assault in the case and was sentenced to five years of probation, the cold case organization reports.

After the missing person case was reopened, a grand jury in Iowa indicted Syperda on first-degree murder just two days ago, as reported by the Associated Press.

Investigators first found his vehicle in Rifle, then confirmed through neighbors that a man matching Syperda’s description had been living in an apartment complex there.

Authorities established a perimeter around the apartment. They eventually got Syperda to come to the door, and he was arrested without incident.

He is being held at the Garfield County jail on a no-bond warrant, and Iowa authorities plan to seek his extradition.

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