Aug 31, 2013


Neighbors described the Des Moines man beaten to death Sunday morning as a family man who was “always willing to help people.”

“He thought nobody was an enemy,” neighbor Allisa Dock said. “He acted like everybody was his friend.”

Police found Richard Daughenbaugh, 40, severely beaten in a parking lot near Wells Fargo Arena around 1 a.m. Sunday, according to a news release. Daughenbaugh later died at Methodist Medical Center.

The beating is the eighth homicide this year in Des Moines, and the 10th in Polk County.

Daughenbaugh was in the area apparently to go fishing, said Des Moines Police Sgt. Jason Halifax. Of the four witnesses detectives interviewed, at least two were also there to fish, Halifax said.

“From personal experience, it’s not uncommon to see fishermen and women along bridges until later hours of the night and early morning hours,” Halifax said. “I don’t know if that’s a common place to fish, but it would seem so.”

Detectives are making progress in investigating suspects, but no charges had been filed as of Sunday evening, Halifax said. He explained there appears to have been more than one suspect.

The suspects, who seemed to have no affiliation with Daughenbaugh, are not believed to have used a specific weapon in the beating, Halifax said.

Halifax explained that the city’s police typically deal with homicides that involve “some kind of weapon.”

“It’s not as common to see in the city of Des Moines homicides that don’t involve weapons,” he said.

Police did not release the suspected motive behind the homicide, but Halifax said that “there was something that led up to the homicide.”

No one appeared to be at Daughenbaugh’s home in the 1300 block of 12th Street on Des Moines’ south side when the Register knocked on the door Sunday afternoon.

Neighbors said Sunday afternoon that they were shocked to hear the news.

Dock said the last time she saw Daughenbaugh was sometime Saturday. Before leaving his house, he hugged and kissed his wife on the porch, Dock said.

“I don’t understand what went on,” she said. “It’s just crazy.”

Daughenbaugh’s Facebook profile said he was married and had six children, which neighbors confirmed. They also said Daughenbaugh was a good father to his children — he built a fence around his house to keep them safe.

“Those kids loved him,” neighbor Davosha Bradley said.

Daughenbaugh was particularly close to his “baby girl,” Dock said. She described the child as “a daddy’s girl.”

In addition to being a good dad, Daughenbaugh was also a good neighbor. Jerome Strong, who visits the neighborhood frequently, explained how Daughenbaugh “helped anybody if they needed help.”

“I’m really surprised,” Strong said. “He didn’t bother anybody.”