Council Bluffs, Ia 12-22-2020 -- Metro News Now has uncovered some disturbing details from newly released documents on the murder of Kimberly Ratliff and her suspected killer, Matt W. Kennedy.
Documents obtained by Metro News Now show Kimberly Ratliff was sexually assaulted before her death. New DNA evidence shows there's a match between Matt W. Kennedy's DNA and what was retrieved from items at the scene of the murder.
According to the affidavit:
On or about the above stated date and time, the Defendant did
"having malice aforethought, kill Kimberly Marie Ratliff, while participating in a forcible felony, to wit: Sexual Assault"
The affidavit goes on to say "With the development and advances of DNA technology, items collected at the original crime scene were submitted to the Iowa State DCI Laboratory for evaluation in 2014. In 2017 the DCI Laboratory informed us an unknown male DNA profile was discovered on one of the items. This item was of a personal nature to Kimberly that only she and the suspect(s) would have had contact with. With this new information it was appropriate to attempt to identify the DNA by comparing it to known profiles of individuals who may have had access to the victim during the 4 to 6 hour window we believe this incident occurred. Included in this list of individuals is the victim's step-brother Matt William Kennedy (DOB: 11/05/1967) who was the last known person to have seen Kimberly Ratliff alive."
On 8/24/2020 known DNA samples of six male subjects were submitted to the DCI Laboratory for comparison to the unknown male DNA profile.
On 9/15/2020 this Department received the results of that testing which found the unknown DNA profile is consistent with the known DNA profile of Matt William Kennedy. With the elimination of the other known DNA samples it was determined only Matt Kennedy, one other male individual and one female could have had contact with Kimberly the night she was murdered.
On 9/25/2020, additional items of evidence were submitted to the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) Human DNA Identification Laboratory for testing. On 10/07/2020 this Department was informed additional male DNA was located on a second item in a location which it is likely the suspect would have touched during the assault on Kimberly. On 10/14/2020 we were informed the second male suspect was eliminated from being a contributor this DNA profile leaving only Matt Kennedy as the remaining suspect.
The affidavit was signed by Council Bluffs Police Detective Ronald Branigan.
Another document e-filed on December 18, 2020 reveals Kennedy plead "not guilty" to the charges. Matt W. Kennedy signed that plea document 12-9-2020. In that document Kennedy elected to exercise his right to a speedy trial pursuant to Iowa R. Crim. p. 2..33(2)(b) and the Iowa Supreme Court November 10, 2020 amendment in the matter of ongoing provisions for Coronavirus / COVID-19 Impact on court services.
Kennedy's arraignment was scheduled for 12/21/2020 at 1:30 PM at the POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY
COURTHOUSE, COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA. Arraignment was heard in Courtroom 4C. Jury Trial is scheduled on 02/02/2021
Kennedy will be represented by a public defender.
On Tuesday, 1/12/1999 at approximately 10:36AM officers with the Council Bluffs Police Department and Medics with the Council Bluffs Fire
Department responded to 1414 West Broadway to check the welfare of a female subject discovered in a white 1988 Plymouth Sundance parked on the lot of Peoples Natural Gas.
Upon arrival CBFD Medics gained entry to the vehicle and declared the female deceased. The deceased was identified as 22 year old Kimberly Marie Ratliff.
Evidence at the scene indicated the suspects may have been attempting to sexually assault Kimberly at the time of her death.
An autopsy conducted in Douglas County determined the manner of death to be homicide. Investigation into this incident developed a 4 to 6 hour window in which the murder of Kimberly occurred. Eventually the investigation stalled and has since become a cold case.
Kennedy is currently being held at the Pottawattamie County Jail as he awaits his trial.
Kennedy's bond is set at $1,000,000, cash or surety.