She didn’t pick up her paycheck

Brenda  Middlekauff, 39, was last seen on July 19, 2002. Her husband of one year, Darrell Middlekauff, told her employer that she had left due to a family emergency. But coworkers became concerned when she didn’t return even to pick up $700 worth of paychecks. So coworkers went to police with their concerns.

Police checked with the husband Darrell Middlekauff. Middlekauff told them his wife had left him for a female truck driver. Police checked with Brenda Middlekauff’s family and they said there had been no family emergency. Police began an extensive investigation, but Brenda Middlekauff remained missing.

March 2005. Someone found a half buried barrel about a 1/2 mile from the Middlekauff home. Inside were human remains later identified as Brenda Middlekauff. The autopsy showed she had died in a violent manner, but authorities have declined to release the cause of death. Also in March of 2005, Darrell Middlekauff was sent to prison on unrelated drug and burglary charges.

Having served his time on those offenses, Darrell Middlekauff was scheduled to be released on Dec. 28. However, on Dec. 20 th- eight days before his scheduled release Darrell Middlekauff was charged with the murder of his wife Brenda Middlekauff.

There are currently three counts of murder levied against Middlekauff, based on different theories of how Brenda Middlekauff was murdered. One count alleges “intentional torture”. Other counts allege that he killed her to conceal child sex abuse or the identity of a perpetrator of a crime.

Middlekauff is also charged with 14 counts of 1 st and 2 nd sex abuse and 15 counts of unlawful delivery of a minor, referring to delivery of meth to a child. Those charges refer to two children who were under the age of 18 at the time of the offense and are alleged to have occurred between Oct. 1 and Dec. 28 of 2004. There are currently 32 inditements against Middlekauff.

Police say the investigation is not over and they are asking anyone with any information about the crime to come forward.   


Though I did not see it indicated, it is possible that the drug related crimes that sent him to prison may have come up as a result of the investigation of his wife’s disappearance. Certainly his wife’s disappearance had brought him to the forefront of law enforcement’s attention. It does seem as though the investigation of the murder may have been what brought the sex abuse charges to their attention. And instead of being charged with sex abuse crimes, he is now being charged with sex abuse crimes and murder.  Murder is not a good way to cover other crimes. Murder brings other crimes to the fore and results in other charges with harsher sentences.

Just as he thought he was about to get out of prison, he finds out that he is now going to facing a murder charge as well as other charges. It is also important to remember that there is no statute of limitations on murder. And whether it is four years like in this case, or 30 years, murder cases are still prosecuted.      

But during the 3 years that Brenda Middlekauff was missing, her family waited and worried, and wondered where she was, what happened to her, and was she ok.

Then after she was found, they were still waiting, and worrying and wondering. Why did it happen, what happened to her and would she ever get justice? Police are able to tell family many things after a murder. But they often have to leave many questions unanswered in order to protect their investigation and preserve the ability to prosecute the crime.

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