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Mystery surrounds missing man
Paul Lovegren

CEDAR FALLS -- The grisly discovery in a wooded area off Young Road Sunday may have closed a months' old missing persons case.

But the recovery of Paul Scott Lovegren's body leaves myriad unanswered questions for those who knew him, loved him and did business with him.

Doctors said Lovegren, 54, a former Cedar Falls resident who had relocated to Kansas, died of head trauma, the exact nature of which hasn't been determined.

That may be the lesser of the riddles he leaves behind.

Questions still swirl around why he disappeared the day before he and his second wife were to buy a new house, why he returned to Iowa and what happened to millions of dollars he allegedly was investing for others.

Even before his body was found, agents with the FBI were working to answer some of those mysteries, local authorities said.

"My child is every day, 'Where's daddy? Where's daddy?'" said Dori Lovegren of Mission Hills, Kans., who married Paul Lovegren about a year and a half ago. Paul adopted her 4-year-old daughter, Daina.

"And then I had to tell her last night that daddy's in heaven," Dori Lovegren said.

Paul Lovegren, a longtime commodities trader, was smart and friendly, and people genuinely liked him for who he was, Dori said.

Still, she said, he felt he needed the trappings of success and to have interesting stories to tell. There were claims he knew Bill Gates and other famous people. In times between jobs, he told her they were being supported by a trust fund.

Lovegren had worked with Securities Corporation of Iowa for a number of years, according to the National Futures Association. He was then hired by the AG Edwards & Sons office in Waterloo and worked there until October 2005.

He briefly worked as an executive vice president for American Scale Trader Publishing Co. Inc. before getting in a dispute with its owner and moving to Kansas where he set up the Lovegren Morgan Group in Mission Hills.

Along the way, he convinced his wife to move her $500,000 account at an established brokerage to Bond Management Inc., a company Paul Lovegren set up in 1993.

Her parents did the same with a $90,000 account they had.

"We all assumed, of course, that he worked for a brokerage … that he is working for a legitimate company, so of course we trusted him," Dori Lovegren said.

Others, too, trusted him and were investing with Bond Management, as his wife would later learn.

Disappearance

The day before Paul Lovegren and his wife were to close on a house in Kansas in August, he said he needed to clear out a safe deposit box at a Cedar Falls bank.

He drove up, stayed overnight at a Cedar Falls hotel and called her on the phone.

But the following day he didn't arrive home, and Dori began to worry that he had been in a traffic accident.

Cedar Falls police said Paul Lovegren visited his adult daughter from a previous marriage and told her he was going to visit his ex-wife, who also lives in Cedar Falls.

It isn't clear if the visit happened, but his red GMC Yukon was left in front of the ex-wife's home, said Capt. Craig Berte with the Cedar Falls Police Department.

The daughter later reported him as a missing person, said Berte.

Meanwhile back in Kansas, Dori Lovegren, who lost earnest money from the botched house purchase and was left without a place to live, began to pick up the pieces as she sought traces of her husband.

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"His wife had no income. Nothing in the bank. No way to exist," said Bob Wiest, who runs American Scale Trader Publishing in California.

When Paul Lovegren left, he took two laptop computers with him, and an empty holster in his firearm collection was a sign he likely brought along one of his pistols, Dori Lovegren said.

She discovered the bank account for Bond Management Inc. had a balance of about $2. She doesn't know if he wired the money elsewhere or was legitimately investing it and lost money on bad trades.

As Paul Lovegren's absence stretched, the wife fielded phone calls from a number of Bond Management investors asking about their accounts, and her tally placed the total losses at somewhere in the $3 million to $4 million range.

"I think what happened with Paul was it all caught up with him," she said. "I think his illness and greed for money took over."

In September, a month after Lovegren was reported as a missing person, the National Futures Association was looking for members who had accounts directed by or who had done business with Paul Lovegren, the Lovegren Morgan Group or Bond Management.

Since August, Paul Lovegren was spotted at a downtown Waterloo restaurant and was once seen in the wooded area not far from where his body would be found later.

The owner of the land knew Lovegren, and it was a place that Lovegren was familiar with, Berte said.

In November, Paul Lovegren's briefcase, passport and other items were found near the wooded area, and on Sunday mushroom hunters discovered his body.

Memorial services for Paul Lovegren are scheduled for Monday at Dahl-Van Hove-Schoof Funeral Home.

Contact Jeff Reinitz at (319) 291-1578 or jeff.reinitz@wcfcourier.com.

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