Winnebago man found guilty of manslaughter, destruction of evidence

Decorah

OMAHA, Neb. (KLKN) – On December 15th Acting United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that a federal jury in the District of Nebraska found Jonathan D. Rooney, of Winnebago, Nebraska, guilty of manslaughter and destruction of evidence.  Rooney, age 27, killed Kozee Decorah, age 22, and then burned her body and other evidence at an abandoned cabin on the Winnebago Indian Reservation.

On May 16th, 2020, the Winnebago Police Department received a call from Decorah to report that the vehicle she, Rooney, and their infant son were driving was stuck in the mud in a remote area of the Winnebago Reservation.  Once Winnebago Conservation Officers located the vehicle, they were unable to locate Decorah, Rooney, or their baby.

Officers noticed a fire around midnight in the outhouse of a remote cabin.

Rooney was found in the cabin naked in a bed with his clothes missing, the baby was with him.  Blood droplets were observed in the cabin.

In the outhouse, human remains in the form of a skull were found in the fire. Decorah was identified through dental records.

Chief United States District Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. ordered a presentence investigation report.

Pre-sentence Investigation Report is a report prepared by a court’s probation officer on request by the court. It is the report of the investigation conducted to find out the history including the educational, criminal, family, and social background of a person convicted of a crime.

Rooney will be sentenced on March 11, 2022, at 11:00 a.m.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Winnebago Police Department, the Winnebago Conservation Office, Winnebago Volunteer Firefighters, and the Nebraska State Fire Marshal.

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