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WATERLOO -- An arrest has been made in the unsolved killing of a Grundy Center man in 2017.

Armando Adame III, 28, of Waterloo, was arrested at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility on Tuesday and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Michael Bruce Johns, 28, in 2017, according to the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

Johns was reported missing Oct. 26, 2017, and the Grundy Center Police Department and Grundy County Sheriff's Office quickly suspected foul play in his disappearance.

Johns' body was discovered near 290th Street and Shadow Avenue in rural Floyd County about 10 miles south of Charles City on Dec. 1, 2017. His death was ruled a homicide and the cause of death was a shotgun wound to the head, according to the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner.

According to court documents, the investigation revealed that Johns was with Adame and another person on the evening of Oct. 24 in to the morning on Oct. 25.

The three traveled from Waterloo to the areas around Black Hawk, Buchanan, Grundy, Marshall, Tama, Butler and Floyd counties.

“Cell phone records showed that the cell phones of Johns, Adame and the other individual eventually ended up in an area around Charles City.”

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Adame admitted to being with Johns and the other person during an interview Nov. 17, 2017, but denied having anything to do with his disappearance or death.

A search warrant was served at his residence on the 300 block of South Hackett in Waterloo. Law enforcement found a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition.

“Subsequent analysis by the Iowa DCI Lab reported that some of the 12-gauge ammunition found to be in Adame’s possession were in the shot size range consistent with the shot recovered from Johns’ body at autopsy,” court documents said.

Law enforcement conducted an interview with the other individual with Johns and Adame that night.

The person allegedly told law enforcement that while driving back from Charles City that morning, Adame and Johns got into an argument inside the vehicle.

“The other individual stated that while they were stopped on a gravel road, Adame pulled Johns out of the vehicle and then shot and killed Johns with a sawed-off shotgun,” court documents said.

Adame was already serving a 25-year prison sentence after pleading guilty Oct. 24, 2018, for possessing a firearm as a felon, possessing ammunition as a felon and possession of an unregistered destructive device.

The case was a joint investigation by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office, the Waterloo Police Department, the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner, the Floyd County Attorney’s Office, the Grundy County Attorney’s Office, and the Black Hawk County Attorney’s Office.

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Staff Writer

Staff writer at The Courier 2005 (college intern), 2007-2012, 2015-present. Graduate of UNI 2006. Three-time Iowa APME award winner (investigative reporting 2008, lifestyle feature 2016, business feature 2018)

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