Update 7/19 at 12:31 p.m .

On Wednesday, July 19, 2017, an arrest warrant was issued for Curtis Cortez Jones charging him with Murder in the First Degree for the murder of Ricky Lillie on June 27, 2017.

Over the course of the investigation, Jones was identified as entering Lillie’s cab and taking an uninterrupted cab ride to the 500 block of Ernest Street. Jones then shot Lillie in the head, and was observed on surveillance video leaving the location where Lillie was found. 

Jones is currently being held in the Washington County Jail in Washington, Iowa pending the resolution of theft charges issued by the Keota Police Department, and a parole violation from the Eighth Judicial District of Iowa. Jones will be transported to the Johnson County Jail in Iowa City for formal arraignment on the murder charge at a later date.

This investigation remains ongoing by the Iowa City Police Department Investigations Unit. 

The Department was assisted in this investigation by the Johnson County Attorney’s Office, the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office, the Johnson County Emergency Management Office, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the University of Iowa Police Department, Iowa City Fire Department, Mount Pleasant Police Department, Burlington Police Department, DesMoines County Sheriff’s Office, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the Division of Criminal Investigation and the Keota Police Department.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Link: Curtis Jones criminal complaint 


Update 7/3 at 11:15 a.m. 

After receiving multiple tips from the public, the Iowa City Police Department has identified the person of interest in the ongoing investigation into the Ricky Lillie homicide as Curtis Cortez Jones, age 41.

Jones was taken into custody in Mount Pleasant on Friday, June 30, 2017 for an arrest warrant from the Keota Police Department for theft in the second degree. In addition, Jones was also served with an arrest warrant for a parole violation. Jones remains in the custody at the Keokuk County Jail. The Iowa City Police investigations unit continues to investigate Jones involvement in this case. 

Additionally, the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled the manner of death in this case to be a homicide, and cause of death to be gunshot wounds to the head.

The Iowa City Police Department continues to request information from the public regarding this case. 

Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects in these matters. Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact CrimeStoppers at 358-TIPS (8477) or at www.iccrimestoppers.org. All contacts are held in strict confidence and anonymity is guaranteed. Individuals providing information do not have to reveal their identity to collect a reward.


Update 6/29 at 3 p.m. 

The Iowa City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in identifying a person of interest in the ongoing investigation into the death of Ricky Lillie. 

Lillie, a cab driver for Yellow Cab, was found dead in his vehicle in the 500 block of Ernest St. before 4 a.m. on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. His death is being investigated as a homicide. 

Photos of the person of interest are included in this release. Anyone with information regarding this person's identity or whereabouts is asked to contact the Iowa City Police Department at 319-356-6800 or Investigator Smithey directly at 319-778-3806, or Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers at 319-358-TIPS. 

In consideration of a inquiry pursuant to an open records request, the Iowa City Police Department is also releasing a recording of the single 911 call associated with this incident. Although unusual, the release has been approved because, in this specific case, the release of the recording in no way compromises or negatively impacts the ongoing investigation. The call has been edited to remove names. Download the audio. 

No further information will be released at this time. Additional press releases will follow as information becomes available.

Iowa City Area Crime Stoppers will offer a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of a suspect. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 358-TIPS (8477) or at www.iccrimestoppers.org. All contacts are held in strict confidence and anonymity is guaranteed. Individuals providing information do not have to reveal their identity to collect a reward.


Update 6/28/17 at 8 p.m. 

The Iowa City Police Department continues to investigate the death of the Yellow Cab driver. 

A 911 call requesting a welfare check on a cab driver near Alexis Park Inn was received at approximately 3:42 a.m., and the Yellow Cab in question was located in the 500 block of Ernest St. The driver of the cab was deceased. This investigation is being treated as a homicide. 

The Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the victim as Ricky Ray Lillie, of Iowa City. 

No further information will be released at this time. Additional press releases will follow as information becomes available.

Anyone with information regarding this incident, or who may have been a witness, is encouraged to contact the Iowa City Police Department at 319-356- 6800. 

Iowa City Area Crime Stoppers will offer a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of a suspect. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 358-TIPS (8477) or at www.iccrimestoppers.org.  All contacts are held in strict confidence and anonymity is guaranteed. Individuals providing information do not have to reveal their identity to collect a reward.



Original message 6/28/17 at 8:10 a.m. 

On June 28, at approximately 3:42 a.m., the Iowa City Police Department was dispatched to the Alexis Park Inn, located at 1165 South Riverside Dr., Iowa City, to a report of a Yellow Cab taxi with the driver found slumped over. 

Upon arrival, police officers located the Yellow Cab and found a deceased subject inside of the vehicle. Officers were then informed by the caller, who is another Yellow Cab driver, that he responded to this area to check on the welfare of his associate and found his associate in this position. 

This matter is under investigation by the ICPD Investigations Unit and is being treated as a suspicious death. The name of the deceased is not being released pending official identification by the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office and notification of the family. 

There will be no further information released at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this incident, or who may have been witness, is encouraged to contact the Iowa City Police Department at 319-356-6800. 

If this matter is determined to be a criminal act, Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers will offer a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of a suspect. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact CrimeStoppers at 358-TIPS (8477) or at www.iccrimestoppers.org.  All contacts are held in strict confidence and anonymity is guaranteed. Individuals providing information do not have to reveal their identity to collect a reward.

Date of publication

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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