Lisa techel obituary | Lisa Marie Caldwell Techel, 23, died May 26, 2012 at her home together with her pregnant child, Zoey Maria. She was born May 7, 1989 in Ottumwa, IA to Todd and Tracy Davis Caldwell. She married Seth Techel on October 15, 2011. A graduate of Ottumwa High School in 2007, Indian Hills Community College and
Buena Vista University, she obtained her degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. Lisa served an internship with Iowa DCI and was a correctional officer in Washington County as well as serving on the Wapello Co. Sherriff’s Reserves. She had worked at Champion Bowl. She was on the OHS bowling
squad which won 3 high school state bowling titles including the first sanctioned IHSAA title. She recently became interested in “Shop with a Cop” program. Lisa liked life. Her energy and smile lighted up the room and made her a joy to all of those around. She was liked by many and will be sadly missed.
Surviving are her husband, Seth; parents, Todd (Amy) Caldwell and Tracy (John Vanderhoof) Caldwell, both of Ottumwa; siblings, Blaine (Jen) Caldwell, Mariah (Joe) Hoium, Presley, Jewel and Josey Caldwell, all of Ottumwa; Quincy
Vanderhoof of Ottumwa; a niece, Hunter and nephew, Drake Caldwell; father and mother in-law, Doug Techel of Ottumwa and Lorraine Uehling-Techel of Agency; a sister-in-law, Danielle Techel; grandparents.
Lisa worked at the county jail and was a reserve sheriff’s deputy. She also had ambitions of becoming
a criminal investigator. Seth had a passion for enforcing the law, too. He was volunteer fireman and desired to be an officer. And the newlyweds had much to celebrate. Lisa was four months pregnant with their first child and they were expecting daughter they’d named Zoey.
But Seth had a hidden mistress. He’d sending text messages to Rachel McFarland, a co-worker at a job training centre, for months. They were playful and passionate, and Seth promised Rachel he’d leave his marriage for her. But
how was he going to break free from a fresh marriage and a baby? The group was too tight-knit to betray those you loved.
In the early hours of May 26, 2012, Lisa was asleep at home when Seth sneaked in with gun. He shot his newly pregnant wife in the chest. She died within minutes – along with her unborn baby.
Acting suspiciously Seth then went and had a shower to wash the evidence. When he got out, he called and was agitated. ‘My wife’s been shot!’ shouted. Seth stated he’d heard a gunshot while he was in the bathroom, and had hurried out see his wife mortally wounded. Seth suggested it was an intruder, despite no
indications of a break-in. Lisa’s family went to Seth’s side to encourage him. It was a catastrophe and the town was saddened.
The cops brought Seth in for regular questioning, then released him. But they maintained their eye on him. They set up surveillance to watch him, and it wasn’t long until he made a mistake. Police spotted Seth acting suspiciously in some lengthy
grass just yards from his home – when they captured him, they also found the shotgun and a pre-paid mobile phone. Seth was arrested for the murder of his wife and unborn baby.
In the ensuing years, Lisa’s family went through hell trying to have Seth a slab get convicted. The first two trials resulted in a hung jury – they couldn’t decide on a verdict. It was a significant case which had been talked about on social media, thus the third trial was conducted in Davenport, where coverage had been
Prosecutors say Seth Techel shot his wife, who was 17 weeks pregnant, on May 26, 2012, while she slept in the trailer they shared in Agency. They believe Techel, a security guard who aimed for a law enforcement career, utilized a
friend’s shotgun that was located in tall grass on a neighboring farm after the incident. They allege that he killed his wife because he wanted to pursue a relationship with a co-worker at an Ottumwa job training center with whom he was exchanging amorous text messages.
But Techel’s lawyers believe Techel, who maintains his innocence, is the victim of an unfair inquiry in which other suspects and leads were dismissed. The trial, in its second week in Davenport, is Techel’s third, coming after two previous trials ending with hung juries.
Jurors in earlier cases never heard about Tinnes, who confirmed his involvement with Lisa Techel for the first time in a July 8 deposition. The defense rested its case Tuesday after Tinnes’ testimony. Closing arguments are expected today. “I knew that justice would prevail,” said Caldwell, who works for the Wapello
County Sheriff’s Office, which helped investigate his daughter’s slaying. “It’s only an issue of how long it would take.” Jurors at two earlier trials last year had been unable to agree on a decision, leading to mistrials. The jury this time deliberated for four hours over two days.
Caldwell said the verdict means his daughter “now rest, and we can start to heal as a family.” He claimed he was unhappy that Techel — whom he had recommended for a job at the county jail — didn’t demonstrate emotion. The high school sweethearts, who got married on October 15, 2011, have settled into
their first house — a trailer on a beautiful plot of land near Agency, Iowa — and were expecting their first child together, a daughter they intended to name Zoe Marie.
Lisa had started a promising career in law enforcement, first as a reserve deputy and then as a jailer in the Washington County Jail, while Seth was ready to start as a jailer in nearby Wapello County, the same county where Lisa’s father served as a sheriff’s deputy.
“I felt as close to him as I did my son,” Lisa’s father, Todd Caldwell told “Dateline: Secrets Uncovered,” airing Wednesdays at 8/7c on Oxygen.
But at 5 a.m. on May 26, 2012, less than a year after the couple had tied the wedding, Lisa was killed in bed: A single shot pistol burst stole her life as well as her unborn daughter’s.