Elma man charged in death of missing Iowa man

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(ABC 6 News) – An Elma man has been charged with murder after the human remains of a missing northeast Iowa man were found on his property.

Sayvonne Eugene Jordan has been charged with 1st-degree murder in the death of Jonathan Henry Esparza. Jordan remains in jail on a 1 million dollar cash bond.

Jonathan Esparza had been missing since late October. Autorities found his remains Jordan’s property.

The small town of Elma has around 500 people and neighbors and community members say they had no idea of the horror that happened across the street.

“Jonny was a good good guy and he was thoughtful he cared about people,” Cole Biernes said.

On the night of October 20, 30-year-old Jonathan Esparza left his home in New Hampton to visit a friend in Elma and was later reported missing, according to the missing person report.

Weeks later on November 11, Esparza’s car was found abandoned.

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Deputy Sheriff Investigator Richard Hollenbeck says witnesses led the sheriff’s department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation to the home of Sayvonne Jordan.

After Esparza had been missing for more than a month, a search warrant was executed on November 30 on Jordan’s property.

“During the search warrant in the house, evidence of some kind of violent act against another person and then the discovery of the human remains in concert with what we found in the house led us to the probably cause that Sayvonne did end Mr. Esparza’s life,” Hollenbeck said.

Investigator Hollenbeck says that the positive ID was crucial in filing the murder charge.

“We needed that positive ID to charge Jordan” “the medical examiners office did give the results of that recently that they said it was Mr. Esparza which gave us the go ahead to finally file a homicide charge on Sayvonne Jordan,” Hollenbeck explained.

While it is still unknown what exactly happened that october night, esparza’s friends say its an outcome that nobody expected.

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“We were emotional about it we were really upset really disappointed because it just sucks to see somebody that we knew in that way we got tot see the fire that he had in him its sad to see that snuffed out”

A college friend and Iowa Central college football teammate, Cole Biernes says Jonny will be remembered for the kind of person he was.

“He was somebody you know he contributed he fired people up and he was a good teammate, and that to me that carries weight forever that never goes away,” Biernes said.