‘Suspicious death’ of UI Health Care employee being investigated as homicide

Authorities are now investigating JoEllen Browning’s death as a homicide. Iowa City police say there currently is not a suspect in custody.


Roman Slabach

Police investigators are on the scene of a suspicious death on Sunday, April 7, 2019, at 114 Green Mountain Drive in Iowa City.

Gage Miskimen, Editor in Chief

JoEllen Browning, the University of Iowa Health Care employee whose death over the weekend Iowa City police are investigating as a homicide, was described as “the nicest person you could ever know” by one neighbor who lives on the same street as the Browning home.

Iowa City police public-information Officer Derek Frank said there is no suspect in custody.

Police say emergency responders were dispatched to 114 Green Mountain Drive on April 5 around 6:59 a.m. and upon arrival, discovered Browning in the residence.

Browning, 65, reportedly lived in the tan, two-story home with her husband, Roy Browning Jr. She was the director of operating budgets for UI Health Care; she also earned a bachelor’s of business administration and accounting from the UI, according to her LinkedIn account. She was the mother of two adult children.

JoEllen Browning has worked at UI Health Care since 1977, according to her LinkedIn account. Her husband, Roy Browning, is the owner of Promo Logo LLC, according to its Facebook page.

UI Health Care spokesperson Tom Moore said JoEllen Browning was a devoted 42-year employee for the organization.

“[She was] an outstanding senior-level finance leader,” he said. “We are deeply saddened by this loss.”

Early Sunday evening, yellow caution tape was posted around the perimeter of the property, with two police investigation vans in the driveway and an Iowa City police vehicle parked out front.

However, the quiet neighborhood showed no sign of panic as residents walked their dogs and children could be heard playing in their backyards.

A second neighbor, who didn’t wish to be named, said authorities have been on the scene around the clock since the morning of April 5. The neighbor said an authority from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation stopped by on the evening of April 5 and told their family there was no danger to anyone else in the neighborhood from the incident at the Browning household. The neighbor added that authorities towed two vehicles away from the crime scene, that police had used metal detectors in the yard at one point, and that detectives canvassed the neighborhood on April 5.

The homicide is under investigation by the Iowa DCI, Iowa City police, Johnson County County Attorney’s Office, and the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office, according to the release. The release said updates to the public will be provided as the investigation allows.