Womenz Magazine

Months After Ilene Gowan’s Suspicious Death, Lover Ivan ‘Sam’ Brammer Faces Murder Charges

Ivan Samuel Brammer and Ilene Gowan
Ivan Samuel Brammer and Ilene Gowan. (Images: Council Bluffs Police Department)

In a chilling development this month, Ilene Gowan’s former lover, Ivan “Sam” Brammer, has been charged with her murder. Gowan’s remains were discovered in February beneath an overpass in Iowa, concealed beneath a blanket of snow.

On February 26th, Gowan’s frozen body was discovered in an obscure ditch. She had disappeared about two weeks prior, and it’s believed she’d been at that location since her disappearance. Evidence reveals she was last seen with Brammer on February 12th at a diner. Strangely, a shoe was absent from her attire which matched what she was last seen wearing. Additional belongings, including her glasses, purse, cellphone, and a safe containing $1,200, were nowhere to be found. Intriguingly, Brammer made a deposit of the exact amount three days after their last sighting together.

Still grieving, Jack Kilgore, Gowan’s son, has been frequenting the location where she was found. “The hope has been for justice since day one. Now, with this charge, there’s some relief, but true justice is still a court decision away,” Kilgore voiced to local media.

Currently detained at Pottawattamie County Jail, Brammer’s bond is set at $500,000. It remains uncertain if he has secured legal representation.

Surveillance data from the Council Bluffs Police Department pinpoints the last hour Gowan was seen alive. She was last seen leaving a local establishment with Brammer. However, unsettling footage reveals Gowan seemingly lifeless in Brammer’s truck the morning following their departure from the diner.

KETV highlighted the couple’s tumultuous history. Brammer, already familiar with law enforcement due to inconsistent accounts regarding the day in question, had been previously accused in March of theft and desecrating Gowan’s body. A day prior to the discovery of Gowan’s battered body, Brammer suspiciously sold his truck, which was soon after destroyed.

Adding to the mystery, Brammer reportedly intimidated Gowan’s son with dark threats. All while Gowan’s whereabouts remained unknown.

Persistence from Gowan’s family led to an updated charge of murder on August 9th. The family sought a second examination after an inconclusive autopsy in May. Esteemed forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, deduced Gowan’s death was due to strangulation.

Nicole Schipper, Gowan’s daughter, emotionally stated to media outlets, “She gave her heart to this man, a man unworthy of her love.”

For those facing domestic violence, immediate help is available at the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or thehotline.org.

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