Two charged in Fisher’s death

Two people have been charged with the first-degree murder of Steven Fisher, whose body was found in a roadside ditch near Otho Wednesday.

Officials didn’t confirm the identity of the remains as being Fisher, 22, of Fort Dodge, until a determination by the state medical examiner’s office Friday afternoon.

Ronald J. Dilley, 28, and Holly N. Ekstrom, 22, both of Fort Dodge, were arrested Friday and are being held on $500,000 bond in the Webster County Jail, according to a press release from the Webster County Sheriff’s office.

Fisher’s vehicle was discovered by law enforcement officials in the 1300 block of Second Avenue South in Fort Dodge; it was seized and sent to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

At about 5:40 p.m. Wednesday, the Webster County Telecommunications Center received a call from a farmer mowing in a ditch who reported possible human remains along Madison Avenue, west of Otho.

Friends and family last reported seeing Fisher late last week. Fisher’s family believed he was staying with Colten Anderson’s family, as he sometimes did, Anderson said. Known as “Fish” to his friends, Fisher was reported missing Tuesday by his employer, Liguria Foods in Humboldt.

A 2009 graduate of Fort Dodge Senior High, Fisher was an aviation electronics technician with the Air National Guard and a former newspaper carrier for The Messenger.

Anderson and Christian Aldrich, who both graduated with Fisher, were among his close friends.

They described him as “a good-natured guy” who liked to just hang out, play video games and hacky sack, and who could always win at the card game Palace – even, his friends said, when they cheated a little to try to beat him.

“He always had a smile on his face,” said Anderson, who also works at Liguria.

Anderson and Aldrich said their group was “the good crowd,” who didn’t drink or do drugs, and that Fisher was always the loudest of the bunch, but in a funny – not obnoxious – way.

Aldrich recounted a time they were playing football and Fisher went deep to catch the pass – so deep, in fact, that he crashed head first into a light pole. Fisher, he said, was more concerned about his knee than any potential brain injury.

“He was a kind guy, a good person,” Anderson said.

“He was something different,” said Aldrich.

The investigation is being conducted by the Webster County sheriff’s office, Iowa DCI, Webster County medical examiner, state medical examiner’s office, Fort Dodge Police Department and the Iowa State Patrol.