By: Christine Souders
In the middle of traffic, 30 years ago, a car was abandoned on the I-80 bridge near Le Claire, with no driver in sight.
But could the driver have jumped off the bridge, or simply walked away?
Investigators are convinced this cold case involves a murder.
The car's owner was Dale Strassburger, 37, of Davenport.
Police said he was last seen on his way home from work at the Arsenal, but, that's where the mystery begins.
Some say a picture's worth a thousand words, but police have been staring at an old photo, puzzled for over three decades.
why would someone want to kill Dale Strassburger?
"Mr. Strassburger was a fairly quiet person, lived a fairly simple lifestyle. Was just an average worker," said Shane Themas, Le Claire Police Chief.
On August 6th, 1982, police reported Strassburger missing, after finding his '76 Oldsmobile, stopped in the eastbound lane, of the I-80 Bridge.
"He gets off work, and then a half hour later, his vehicle is on the bridge, and he's nowhere to be found," said Major Mike Brown, Scott County Sheriff's Department.
A then rookie on the job, Major Mike Brown was only a month in on Le Claire P. D. when he got called to head over to the bridge.
But Brown was already there.
He had just driven across I-80 two minutes before, and he didn't see a car stopped on the bridge.
"Whoever was right there behind myself; and as I made that turn to come around, they were already gone," said Brown.
Police combed the river, and searched for Strassburger, but no clues surfaced.
That is, until, three years later: an unexpected twist in the case.
During a court proceeding in a different state, someone admitted to knowing about a homicide, connected to Dale Strassburger's disappearance.
"The information was extremely credible, that person knew facts about that event of that night were not released at the time or no one else would have known," said Chief Themas.
But that break in the case, has never resulted in an arrest, only years of detective work, and a strange series of events that have never added up.
"I just missed those people, either dropping the car off or maybe that's where they came in contact with the victim, that's always just stayed in the back of my mind. I would like to see this case solved," Brown said.
Le Claire's Chief of Police Shane Themas said our CBS 4 investigation has led them to reopen this cold case.
He said they're hoping this publicity may land them some new leads.
"We absolutely have targets or individuals that we feel could be responsible for what happened. Our job is now, is to fill in the holes, fill in the blanks that have existed since 1982."
A push for answers, Brown said have troubled him throughout his entire career.
"I keep hoping that someday that's going to happen. That someone's going to give us that big lead or big break, and tell us something that will help to put it all together."
Le Claire police are asking to hear from Strassburgers' former co workers at the Arsenal, or any family who may still be in the area.
Also, from drivers who may have seen a person or persons leaving a car on the I-80 Bridge, in the early evening hours of August 6th, 1982.
They said any information at all could be the break they need.