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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 8, 2021

Mills County Man Convicted of 2003 Kidnapping and Sex Offenses

Crucial DNA Evidence Obtained Through Iowa Attorney General’s Sex Assault Kit Initiative

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA – On Wednesday, October 6, 2021, Myron Lee Brandon, age 43, of Pacific Junction, Iowa, was found guilty in federal court of two counts of kidnapping and two counts of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. The verdict came after a three-day trial before United States District Court Senior Judge James E. Gritzner.

According to evidence presented at trial, on June 21, 2003, Brandon was in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, and offered a ride to two teenage girls. One female was fifteen years old and the other fourteen. The girls were expecting to be transported to a location in Omaha, but Brandon drove to a location near Pacific Junction, Iowa. On a rural road outside Pacific Junction, Brandon brandished a knife before sexually assaulting both victims and used a cigarette to burn each of them on the breast area. The victims escaped from Brandon and managed to walk to Interstate 29 where they were picked up by a motorist and taken to safety.

Law enforcement began an investigation on June 22, 2003, that included a medical exam and collection of evidence from each victim. After an extensive investigation failed to identify a suspect, the evidence that had been collected was stored until a suspect was identified.

In 2015, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office created the Sex Assault Kit Initiative, a program that submits old case evidence to a laboratory to determine if DNA evidence is present to help identify suspects. In July of 2018, the sexual assault kits collected from the victims were placed in this program. In February of 2020, Brandon was identified as a suspect, and further DNA evidence collected from Brandon confirmed he was the person who sexually assaulted the victims.

This was the first jury trial in the State of Iowa using DNA evidence processed by the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. The first conviction in a Sexual Assault Kit Initiative case occurred in 2019 in Dallas County, Iowa.

Sentencing has been set for March 2, 2022 in Council Bluffs.

Acting U.S. Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement. The investigation was conducted by the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office, Council Bluffs Police Department, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Omaha Police Department, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Rachel J. Scherle 515-473-9300 USAIAS-PAO@usdoj.gov
Updated October 8, 2021