Gina Frederiksen, a mother of three from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was murdered in what police say was a random garage invasion that culminated in a fire.
Authorities characterized the attack as “random,” and they’ve accused Timothy Wesley Evans of slaying the 38-year-old Frederiksen, whose garage was set alight in an attack that started out as a burglary. Frederiksen died from “traumatic injuries to her head and other parts of her body.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Authorities Pulled Frederiksen’s Body Out of Her Burning Garage
Frederiksen was murdered on Sunday morning April 29, 2018. Cedar Rapids firefighters and police officers “were dispatched to 1814 I Street SW at 7:34 a.m. on Sunday morning when neighbors heard a loud boom and saw a garage fully involved with fire,” reported the Cedar Rapids police.
“Emergency responders arrived on scene and found the detached garage fully engulfed in flames. A police officer at the scene helped pull an adult female victim out of the burning garage. Emergency medical care was rendered. The victim died a short time later at a local hospital. The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner determined that the victim died as the result of a homicide.”
It didn’t take police long to announce the arrest of a suspect. A criminal complaint alleged that he set the fire to cover up the murder.
“An investigation by the Police Department identified a suspect in the case. The suspect, identified as Timothy Wesley Evans, age 38, was arrested this afternoon for Murder-1st Degree, Burglary-1st Degree, Robbery-1st Degree, and Arson-1st Degree,” wrote the police on Facebook.
“Evans is accused of breaking into the detached garage, assaulting and murdering the victim, and then setting the garage on fire. Evans was arrested at the Cedar Rapids Police Station and transported to the Linn County Jail.”
2. Evans Was Previously Investigated in Another Fire & Was Released From Custody Just Two Days Before the Homicide
A previous incident occurred in November 2017, According to The Courier, Cedar Rapids authorities “were called to a fire that damaged another home. Officers found a sliding glass door had been broken out, and the house had been ransacked before someone set a fire in the middle of the living room using gasoline.”
After DNA showed Evans was allegedly a “potential donor,” police sought a DNA test in February, the newspaper reported, adding that he wasn’t arrested in that case but was detained after another theft and burglary from a vehicle. “He was released from jail pending trial,” reported The Courier.
On Facebook, police asked the public for more information, writing, “The Cedar Rapids Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance in the ongoing investigation into several burglaries that occurred in southwest Cedar Rapids between 4:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 29th. Investigators are asking anyone in the geographic area generally east of U.S. Interstate 380 to the Cedar River and between 16th Avenue SW and 33rd Avenue SW to review any surveillance photographs or video that they may have in their possession.”
One man responded on the police comment thread, alleging that he had “video evidence of him taking multiple things off my porch I showed the police and they did nothing about it perhaps would have saved this womans life.” He further alleged, without naming the man, “He came back three different times that night walking like he owned the place around my property even went to my vehicle first.” Police said the man could contact them.
3. Frederiksen Was Engaged & Plastered her Facebook Page With Photos of Her Three Kids
According to her Facebook page, Gina Frederiksen studied at Kirkwood Community College and went to Cedar Falls High School. She lived in Cedar Rapids and was from Cedar Falls. She was engaged, according to her Facebook profile.
On Facebook, she shared photos of her three children and fiancee. When one friend wrote that she spotted a ring in an October 2017 photo, Frederiksen wrote, “Yes, I’ve had the ring for 3 years!! But still NO WEDDING plans!”
Her obituary reads, “Gina Catherine (Pixler) Frederiksen, 38, of Cedar Rapids, formerly of Cedar Falls, died Sunday, April 29, in Cedar Rapids as a result of a homicide.”
She worked as an administrative assistant for a local financial company.
4. Gina Was Remembered as ‘Sweet’ & ‘Kind’
Loved ones remembered Frederiksen on the funeral home’s condolence page for her obituary. “Gina was our first Grandchild and have a lot of memories of her coming to stay with us, she was sweet and kind, Loved her lots and will miss her,” her grandmother wrote.
A woman who knew Gina growing up wrote, “My first memories were when Gina would 4 and 5 years old. Sometimes when at grandma Jeans she attended my class in Sunday School! She was a sweatheart! Very shy, thus, very quite, but she was so cutie!”
A high school friend offered memories also, writing, “Gina and I were great friends in high school but have not stayed in contact as much since I moved to California. One great memory was visiting my father in California, sunbathing, and eating a lobster she named ‘Squiggy.’ We went through a lot of rites of passage together during those years. I remember Gina’s humor and heart. Even as a young adult I knew her family (parents, sisters, children, etc) meant the world to her. She will be terribly missed.”
Another woman wrote about Gina’s love for her children: “Gina was a curious, smart, pretty girl. She was beautiful inside and out and loved her children more than anything.”
5. Frederiksen Recently Advertised a Garage Sale on Social Media
Authorities were looking into whether social media posts that Frederiksen made advertising a recent garage sale could have drawn the suspect to her home, according to The Gazette.
She had posted about the sale on Facebook.
The suspect has a previous criminal history for drugs and burglary and is being held on $2 million bail.