BELLE PLANE, Iowa – Authorities say that a woman and a boy whose bodies were found on a railroad crossing in East Iowa are in a KCCI homicide died.
incident happened May 4th. Teresa Gerleman, 35, and her 8-year-old son, Henry Fields, were found by police officers who responded to an intersection in Belle Plaine around 5 am on Friday.
The Iowa Public Safety Department said after talking with Union Pacific Railroad staff, video footage of the Union Pacific Engine and a variety of interviews, the conclusion is that Gerleman committed suicide and pulled her son in the way of the train and him like that also killed.
"Evidence at the impact point suggests Gerleman was waiting near the railroad tracks until the Union Pacific train approached," Iowa Criminal Police officials said in a statement. "Gerleman and her son Henry are featured in the video Crossing the railroad and the train approaches, Gerleman returns to the middle of the tracks and pulls Henry on the train at the last moment. "
Ruth Ann Stratto, who lived opposite Gerleman across the street, said she was still choked and think of the 35-year-old and her 8-year-old. Stratto told Gerleman and her son died just a few blocks north of her neighborhood.
"I heard the train just squeal their brakes," Stratto said.
Friends of Gerleman created a Facebook page titled "Loving Memory Of Teresa Gerleman & Henry Fields" as a tribute.
According to the Facebook page, Gerleman dealt with family matters and had recently moved to Belle Plaine.
"I think that's very tragic," Stratto said. My heart goes to this little boy. "
Just a week before Gerleman and her son died, another man threw himself in front of a train at the same intersection.
Friends told KCCI that Gerleman and the man were bonded, but the authorities failed to confirm the allegation.
Family members told KCCI that there would be no funeral for Gerleman.