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Teens ambushed their teacher on her daily walk then drug her into the woods, officials say

DES MOINES, Iowa — The county attorney prosecuting the case of two southeast Iowa teens charged with murder in the death of their high school Spanish teacher said in court documents they surveilled her pattern of life, ambushed her along her daily walk and dragged her into the woods, returning later to better hide her lifeless body.

Those additional details of the death of Nohema Graber in early November were revealed in a Dec. 23 filing in the case of Jeremy Goodale, 16, of Fairfield. He is charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder with classmate Willard Miller, also 16. Attorneys for both teens have asked a judge to move their case to juvenile court.

Hearings on the requests are scheduled for Jan. 27.

In court documents filed Dec. 23, Jefferson County Attorney Chauncy Moulding offered the additional details of Graber’s death.

Graber, 66, was reported missing Nov. 2 and her remains were found later that day in a park. Authorities earlier confirmed she had suffered “inflicted trauma to the head” and her body was found concealed under a tarp, wheelbarrow and railroad ties at the Chautauqua Park in Fairfield, about 95 miles southeast of Des Moines.

Authorities have not released a motive. Both teens attended Graber’s Spanish class at Fairfield High School, where she had taught since 2012.

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