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Iowa Man Charged In Decapitated Woman's Murder After 'Satanic' Goat Drawing Implicates Him

A drawing of a Satanic goat’s head helped lead to the arrest of Nathan Gilmore for the murder of Angela Bradbury, whose skull was found on a stick along a hiking trail more than a year after she went missing.

By Dorian Geiger
A police handout of Nathan Gilmore

An Iowa man has been charged in the murder of a missing 29-year-old woman whose head was found on an improvised spike last year.

A series of unnerving clues — including an illustration of a Satanic goat’s head — has subsequently led to the arrest of Nathan Gilmore, 23, for the April 2021 killing of Angela Bradbury, according to court documents.

Bradbury’s family reported her missing to the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 2, 2022, but she was last seen by relatives in April 2021.

She had been arrested on the evening of April 5, 2021 for trespassing at a car dealership and released around noon the next day, according to the Des Moines Register. A friend told police that, after her release, she changed her clothes at their home in Mason City and then left with a younger white man. The friend thought they were headed to nearby St. Ansgar, which is about 25 miles northeast of Mason City.

She was never seen alive again, and her Facebook account recorded no activity after her arrest

A police handout of Angela Bradbury

Three months later — on July 12 — a human skull was found on a stick at Greenbelt River Trail Park near Mitchell, which is about 25 miles northeast of Mason City and just south of St. Ansgar, WALB reported.

On August 26, Gilmore then allegedly sent Snapchat messages to a male friend of his ex-girlfriend, warning him that he’d be “looking like the body they found outside Mitchell,” Mason City television station KIMT reported.

In February 2022, when Bradbury's family reported her missing, law enforcement finally identified the remains found in the park last July using her dental records. Additional remains belonging to Bradbury were found in the park in April.

Police now suspect Gilmore somehow arranged to meet Bradbury — who was about to celebrate her 30th birthday — after the two crossed paths near the Cerro Gordo County Courthouse, where he was being arraigned at 1:15 p.m. on April 6, and the jail where Bradbury was released about an hour earlier that day.

Investigators say that Facebook data eventually allegedly placed Gilmore at the park near where Bradbury’s skull was found on the evening of April 6, the Register reported.

On Friday, police executing a search warrant at Gilmore’s home allegedly found a whiteboard drawing of a “Satanic" goat's head in the shape of a pentagram, according to case documents reviewed by KIMT. Blood, varying numbers — including "04-06" — and the rough geographic coordinates of the area where Bradbury’s body was found were also on the illustration.

In an interview with police on Friday, Gilmore allegedly offered several conflicting stories, according to the Register and KIMT. First, police say he claimed that he'd been in the park in July 2021 when the skull had been discovered and that's why he knew about the case. They, he allegedly admitted he’d picked up a woman around the time of his arraignment, but said he had simply dropped her in Mason City before heading to St. Ansgar for work. Police say in court documents obtained by KIMT that he changed his story again after being confronted with Facebook data showing his account in use at the Greenbelt River Trail on April 6, 2021 at 7:21 p.m. and then 8:37 p.m.

He was arrested and is being held on a $1 million cash-only bail, per KIMT.

Bradbury grew up on a farm in Nora Springs, Iowa, according to her obituary, and graduated from Central Springs High School in 2010. Loved ones described her as an animal-lover.

“Angela had a special place in her heart for animals, especially her beloved Chihuahua, Batman,” her obituary stated. “She was always kind to the ‘underdogs’ among us and those who knew her were blessed by her hugs, beautiful smile and special little giggle. She will be sadly missed by many family and friends.”

Anyone with additional information pertaining to the case is urged to contact Cerro Gordo Sheriff’s Office by calling 641-421-3000.

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