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Friday classes canceled at Fairfield High School after teacher's death

Willard Noble Chaiden Miller and Jeremy Everett Goodale are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy in the death of 66-year-old Nohema Graber.

FAIRFIELD, Iowa — Classes have been canceled for all Fairfield Community School District staff and students after the death of a high school teacher.

Jefferson County authorities say Willard Noble Chaiden Miller and Jeremy Everett Goodale are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. 

They are both 16 but have been charged as adults in the death of 66-year-old Nohema Graber. Graber had taught Spanish at Fairfield High School since 2012. She previously taught in the Ottumwa Community School District. 

Local 5 is naming both suspects due to them being charged as adults and the severity of the charges.

According to online court documents filed against Miller, Graber was reported missing on Wednesday by family members. Multiple law enforcement agencies started searching through Chautauqua City Park, where Graber was known to take afternoon walks.

Law enforcement found Graber's body later in the day Wednesday "concealed under a tarp, wheelbarrow and railroad ties," according to the complaint. 

Authorities determined Graber had "suffered inflicted trauma to the head." 

UPDATE 1:40 pm 11/4/21 On November 3, 2021, human remains were discovered in Chautauqua Park in Fairfield, Iowa. The...

Posted by City of Fairfield, Iowa Government on Wednesday, November 3, 2021

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According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement conducted an interview with an "associate" of Miller and Goodale.

This individual gave law enforcement social media exchanges from Goodale that showed "specific details of the disappearance", as well as Miller's alleged involvement. 

The criminal complaint against Miller says those messages contained details like motive, plans and execution for killing Graber. There were also details about "deliberate attempts to conceal the crime." 

A criminal complaint filed against Goodale follows the same narrative.

These details made it possible for investigators to obtain a search warrant for Goodale and Miller. During the search, investigators collected some clothing items "which appeared to have a substance consistent in appearance with that of blood." 

Court documents also mention another interview conducted by law enforcement. This individual reported meeting with Goodale in Chautauqua Park Tuesday afternoon and seeing Miller in the park on this occasion. 

Law enforcement also spoke with Miller, who admitted to being in the park as the murder happened. The criminal complaint says Miller provided "materials utilized in committed the murder" and aided "in actions taken to conceal the murder." 

Online court records say Miller and Goodale's preliminary hearings are scheduled for Nov. 12.

Fairfield Community School District superintendent Dr. Laurie Noll provided a statement to students and staff about Graber's passing.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones of Mrs. Graber," said Noll. "At this time our students’ and staffs’ well-being is our top priority. As a community, we will remain united in this time of tragedy.”

A vigil is planned for Friday night at the high school.

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