Ames Police update on death of Iowa State student

The death of an Iowa State student and a gang-related shooting are both still active investigations police say.


Ames Police respond to a fire on Aug. 28, 2020.

The Ames police do not suspect any foul play in the case of Emma Timmer, the Iowa State student who was found dead last month.

The case is an active investigation and was not mentioned in the department’s monthly activity report, but Police Commander Daniel Walter said with the evidence available, they do not believe there was any criminal activity.

Timmer was found dead Aug. 10 at 425 Welch Ave, the address of her apartment building. She was found on the balcony of 203, below her apartment 303.

“These cases are hard, and it may be that we never know how or why she ended up on the balcony below,” Walter said. “There’s nothing at this point to indicate that anything criminal took place. We’ve watched a lot of surveillance, interviewed a lot of people, retraced that night, and we haven’t found anything that exhibits criminal activity.”

Walter said that the police are waiting on the medical examiner to determine the cause of death.

Police are also actively investigating a shooting that occurred Aug. 17 at The Social West apartment buildings. The victim was a 16-year-old who was not identified and did not sustain any lethal injuries.

Police believe the shooting may have been related to gang activity. There have been multiple instances of gang activity in the Ames area between two groups over the past four months.

“We do believe this person has been affiliated with one of those groups,” Walter said. “With a non-cooperating victim not providing us information, it’s hard to say whether or not it’s between two groups that this transpired. We just don’t know.”

No charges or arrests have been made in relation to the case.

Included in the activity report was the number of traffic accidents and the estimated damages from those accidents. Compared to July, accidents went from 107 to 117, and damages went from $398,950 to $524,199. Accidents went up 9% while the damages went up 31%.

“We generally see an increase in accidents from July to August as people rotate back to school,” Walter said. “The damages vary based on the severity of the crash. Clearly, the severity of accidents was up a little bit, and what that indicates, I’m not sure.”

The city of Ames and Iowa State University took a new approach to Welcome Weekend, referred to as 801 Day amongst students, that included increased fines and university-sponsored events. Walter said the Ames Police are planning to work with the university and the city to discuss what went well and what can be improved for next year.

“We viewed it as probably going well, but we also know that weather was a big factor in helping keep those calls for service down,” Walter said.

The Ames Police release an activity report every month that is available on the City of Ames website and can be found on the Ames Police social media accounts.