$300K Cash Bond Ordered For Woman Charged With 1985 Homicide In Polk County

Woman Was Extradited From Arizona To Face Charges Following Decades-Long Investigation.

$300K Cash Bond Ordered For Woman Charged With 1985 Homicide In Polk County

POLK COUNTY (DrydenWire) - The Court has ordered a $300,000 cash bond for Mary Josephine Bailey, the woman charged with the 1985 murder of Yvonne Menke.

Yvonne Menke

A breakthrough came in the decades-long investigation and charges of Class A Felony 1st Degree Murder were filed against 80-year-old Bailey in November 2023. A warrant was issued for her arrest and she was extradited from Arizona in December 2023.

Online court records show that Bailey while in custody appeared on December 11, 2023, in Polk County Circuit Court for a bail bond hearing. Polk County District Attorney Jeffrey Kemp requested a $250,000 cash bond. The Hon. Judge Daniel Tolan ordered a $300,000 cash bond.

Bailey appeared again on December 14, 2023, and is scheduled to appear for a preliminary examination hearing on December 29, 2023.

The 39-page criminal complaint file against Bailey details the investigation starting with the day the homicide was reported by family members of Yvonne Menke.

The complaint states that 'based on a well-documented love triangle between Yvonne Menke, Jack Owen, and Mary Jo (Lunsmann) Bailey, in addition to Mary Jo’s suspected animosity towards Yvonne Menke, witness statements, and the physical evidence collected at the scene (boot prints closely matching boots recovered from Mary Jo (Lunsmann) Bailey), your complainant believes that Mary Jo (Lunsmann) Bailey is responsible for killing Yvonne Menke on December 12, 1985.'

If convicted as charged, Bailey faces imprisonment for the remainder of her life.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Last Update: Dec 18, 2023 10:57 am CST

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Crime & Court

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