Elma man charged in death of missing Iowa man – ABC 6 News

(ABC 6 News) – An Elma man has been charged with murder after the human remains of a missing northeast Iowa man were found on his property.

Sayvonne Eugene Jordan has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jonathan Henry Esparza. Jordan remains in prison on $1 million bail.

Jonathan Esparza had been missing since late October. Authorities found his remains among Jordan’s property.

The small town of Elma has a population of about 500 and neighbors and community members say they had no idea of ​​the horror that happened across the street.

“Jonny was a good, good guy and he was thoughtful that he cared about people,” said Cole Biernes.

On the night of October 20, 30-year-old Jonathan Esparza left his New Hampton home to visit a friend in Elma and was later reported missing according to a missing persons report.

Weeks later, on November 11, Esparza’s car was found abandoned.

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Deputy Sheriff’s Detective Richard Hollenbeck says witnesses led the Sheriff’s Department and the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation to Sayvonne Jordan’s home.

After Esparza had been missing for more than a month, a search warrant on Jordan’s property was executed on November 30.

“During the search warrant at the house, evidence of some sort of act of violence against another person and then the discovery of the human remains consistent with what we found at the house led to the probable cause that Sayvonne ended Mr. Esparza’s life,” said Hollenbeck.

Investigator Hollenbeck says the positive ID was decisive for bringing the murder charge.

“We needed this positive ID to charge Jordan,” “The coroner’s office recently announced the results that it was Mr. Esparza who gave us the green light to finally press charges of manslaughter against Sayvonne Jordan,” Hollenbeck explained .

Although it’s still unknown exactly what happened that October night, Esparza’s friends say it’s an outcome no one was expecting.

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“We were emotional about it, we were really upset, really disappointed because it just sucks to see someone we knew so well that we didn’t have to see the fire he had in him, it’s sad to see that it is gone.”

Cole Biernes, a college friend and Iowa Central College football teammate, says Jonny will be remembered as the kind of person he was.

“He was someone that you know helped cheer for people and he was a good teammate and that carries weight with me forever that never goes away,” Biernes said.

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