Update: Arrest Made in Hardin County Death Investigation

SAC Mike Krapfl
Special Agent in Charge

October 12, 2021

Hardin County, Iowa - On October 12, 2021, at 5:33 am, the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a resident at 302 Commercial Street in Union, Iowa for an unresponsive male.  Upon arrival, deputies located a deceased male inside the bedroom of the residence and deemed the death suspicious.  The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office requested the assistance of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.  
Update:  The investigation found that the deceased male was resident Steve Reece, age 74.  Reece died as a result of being struck by Osborn Eugene Gavel, age 22, of Baxter, Arkansas.  Gavel and others had stayed with Reece on the evening of October 11th, 2021.  

Gavel has been charged with Murder in the 1st Degree and is in custody at the Hardin County jail.

Upon completion of the investigation, all results will be forwarded to the Hardin County Attorney’s Office for review.


The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes six divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.