INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. - The man police believe shot and killed his girlfriend Saturday night in Johnston, Iowa is in custody after being spotted by customs officials at the Canadian border.
Abraham Roberts, 38, of Johnston was stopped in International Falls, Minn., on Sunday and taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials who recognized Roberts’ car from a release put out by Johnston police.
Johnston Police Chief Dennis McDaniel identified the victim as Agnes Yarlee, 34, of Johnston.
Roberts has not been charged in the case, but McDaniel said he’s the “primary suspect,” and police have no reason to believe anyone else was involved.
“While we’ve found our suspect, there’s still a long ways to go,” the chief said.
McDaniel said authorities are planning for Roberts to be extradited back to Polk County.
On Saturday, Johnston police requested a material witness warrant for Roberts’ arrest regarding the shooting, which police first became aware of when they received a call at about 8 p.m. that night about domestic violence at the Providence Pointe Apartments, 6220 N.W. 106th St.
About one minute later, additional 911 calls came in, reporting gunshots at the same location. Responding officers found a female gunshot victim, identified as Yarlee, who died at the scene.
McDaniel said Yarlee and Roberts had children together, who are safe and being cared for.
“(I) want to extend my sincerest condolences to the Yarlee family as they attempt to cope with this senseless tragedy,” McDaniel said.
Police would not release more details of the shooting, and said they didn’t know if police had been called to the apartment, which Yarlee and Roberts shared, prior to Saturday’s shooting.
Killings are rare in Des Moines’ suburbs — McDaniel said he couldn’t remember the last time there was a homicide in Johnston. But, the chief said, “Unfortunately, domestic violence can occur anywhere ... unfortunately, the city of Johnston is not immune to domestic violence.”
The Johnston Police Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Johnston-Grimes Metropolitan Fire Department responded to the scene.