Mills County Sheriff Mack Taylor isn't ready to chalk up the death of Debra Barajas as the work of Thomas Tomich.
Tomich, 50, leapt to his death from an apartment building near downtown Omaha on Thursday as officials closed in after identifying the remains found inside a 55-gallon drum north of Council Bluffs in May as those of his ex-wife, Lois Tomich. She was 28 years old when she disappeared in November 1983.
Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber had said that Thomas Tomich was the lone suspect in his ex-wife's death.
Authorities on Friday identified the remains found Tuesday on a farm north of Glenwood as those of Barajas. The 44-year-old Omaha woman had been reported missing on May 25.
The Iowa Medical Examiner's Office was able to compare CT scans from her medical history to confirm the remains as those of Barajas. The Omaha Police Department and other law enforcement agencies were working with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation on the case.
Court documents indicated that Tomich paid $250 to bail Barajas out of the Sarpy County Jail on May 16. Taylor said Tomich is worth considering as a suspect in the case.
"We don't want to rush to judgment because he's (Tomich) no longer here and that would solve the case," Taylor said. "There probably are a couple of other people."
The Medical Examiner's Office was working with a forensic anthropologist to determine the cause and manner of Barajas' death. Taylor said he hoped to hear something on that work Monday.
"We don't expect anything on the weekend," he said.
Another case that bears watching following the recent revelations regarding Tomich is the death of Brianne Smith. The 25-year-old Omaha woman's body was found along a gravel road west of Glenwood in June.
Taylor said it is his understanding that both Barajas and Smith were prostitutes who may have known each other. That potentially could connect both women to Tomich.
The death of Teresa Windham of Council Bluffs also is unsolved. The 17-year-old's body was found near Fremont, Neb., in April 2001, about three weeks after she disappeared from Council Bluffs.
Authorities determined she was killed in Council Bluffs. Her former boyfriend was charged in the death but last year was found not guilty of first-degree murder.