A second arrest has been made by Iowa authorities in the murder case of a man whose body was found in an Iowa lake.

According to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, agents with the Iowa DCI and members of the Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office arrested Brice P. Colling of Emmetsburg earlier this week. Colling has been charged in the July of 2020 murder of Rollin (RJ) Bontrager of Washington, Iowa.

A criminal complaint says Bontrager's body was found floating in Virgin Lake near Ruthven, Iowa in Palo Alto County on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Bontrager had last been seen three days prior to his body being found.

An autopsy by the Iowa State Medical Examiner determined that Bontrager had "sustained multiple lacerations to his head consistent with being beaten with a bolt cutter tool".

During the investigation in the case, law enforcement interviews determined Colling was at the northwest Iowa lake on the evening of July 19, 2020. That was the last day that the 27-year-old Bontrager was seen alive. Witnesses also claimed that Colling had admitted to beating someone that night.

Allan M. Schwidder, who plead guilty in March of 2021 to 2nd Degree Murder in Bontrager's death, also told authorities that Colling was involved in the beating of Bontrager and put him in Virgin Lake.

Colling has been charged with First Degree Murder in the death of Bontrager. He's being held in the Palo Alto County Jail in Emmetsburg. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

Palo Alto County Jail
Palo Alto County Jail

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