The Twisted Case Of Shanna Golyar-How She Tried To Cover Her Crime

Dave Kroupa’s phone was bombarded with dozens of text messages from his stalker. One letter said, “My favorite thing to do is stand outside and stare at you.”

Kroupa, 36, had become accustomed to it. Over the next three years, he would get tens of thousands more SMS and emails like these. At first, the texts were full of envy and wrath, but as time went on, the tone shifted from nasty to menacing.

One message said, “I hate you so badly that I want to drive a dagger into your heart.” The other said “I’m going to ruin your life and steal your happiness,” .

Kroupa claimed he lost track of how many times he changed his phone number, but the texts continued to arrive.

“What do you do when someone infiltrates every nook and cranny of your life?” he wondered.

They all appeared to be from Cari Farver, a woman he had barely dated for two weeks in Omaha, Nebraska, but no one had seen her in quite some time.

Detectives discovered a vengeful lover who had gone to severe and fatal measures to harm her perceived rival years after the harassment began.

Inside Story

After getting a job managing an auto repair shop in 2012, Kroupa relocated to Omaha. He was divorced from his longtime partner Amy Flora, with whom he had two children, at the time. It was his first time alone in a long time.

He explained, “I didn’t know how to go back into the dating pool.” “I was feeling a little rusty… so internet dating seemed the way to go.”

Kroupa stated that he had signed up for a few dating websites. Shanna Elizabeth Golyar, sometimes known as “Liz,” was the first person he met through one of them.

Shanna “Liz” Golyar

“Liz was quite attractive to me. I was immediately drawn to her, so we set up a date ” he stated
Golyar informed him that she was a single mother with two children of similar ages to his. Kroupa claimed that by the fourth date, their relationship had progressed to the point where they were having sex. Kroupa, on the other hand, stated he told Golyar straight up that he intended to keep seeing other women.

Kroupa reported a “very lovely woman” strolled into the auto shop about six months after meeting Golyar. Cari Farver, a single mother, had brought her Ford Explorer in for service.

“There was a small spark when we stared at each other,” Kroupa stated. “She was showing me something inside the truck, and we were standing there, quite close together… and there was some tension.”

Cari Farver

According to friends and family, Farver was vibrant and warm in every way.

Cari’s friend Amy Long stated, “You noticed Cari when she walked into a room.” “She had a giggle and a smile on her face. She had a way of brightening up a room… It was impossible not to notice her. You couldn’t help but be pulled to her.”

Kroupa said they hit it off right away on their first date after he asked Farver out. So, after dinner, he invited her back to his place. Farver told Kroupa that she didn’t want anything serious when things heated up.

Kroupa stated, “I felt like I hit the lottery with that.”

However, Kroupa claimed that while she was leaving his apartment at the end of their date, Farver walked directly past Golyar in the corridor. Golyar had dropped by unexpectedly to pick up some items she claimed she had left behind.

“It was only a brief meeting, perhaps 10 seconds or less… “However, this encounter would have long-term consequences for all three of them,” said Jenn Carpenter, presenter of the “So Dead” podcast which followed the case.

Kroupa was so captivated with Farver that he promised to let her remain with him when she was given a large project at work. Farver was a computer programmer, and her office was only around the corner from where Kroupa lived, he said, although she lived in Macedonia, Iowa, nearly an hour away.

Kroupa claimed he got ready for work on Nov. 13, 2012, kissed Farver on the way out, and promised her he’d see her later that evening.

Another photo of Cari Farver

Then, around mid-morning, Kroupa said he received an odd text from her claiming she wanted to move in with him, “which was quite out of the blue because we had already discussed that not occurring,” he added.

Kroupa responded with an SMS stating that he was not interested. She almost instantly reacted, adding, “That’s fine. I despise you. I’m in a relationship with someone else. I’m not interested in seeing you any longer. Get out of here.”

“A lot of swearing,” Kroupa stated. “I didn’t know what to make of it. I was completely taken aback.”

Farver was gone when Kroupa returned home that night. After nearly two days, he said his phone began to fill up with texts, in which Farver said, in part, “I despise you… you’ve completely ruined my life… You’re a dreadful individual.”

Kroupa stated that he is currently thinking, “I don’t require this… I managed to avoid being hit by a gunshot.”
Strange texts are sent to Cari Farver’s mother and son.

Nancy Raney, Farver’s mother, claims her daughter was diagnosed with depression in her late 20s, just a few years after giving birth to her son, Max Farver, and later diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Raney added, “She had been visiting therapists and was on medicine.” “There were a few times when she stopped taking the medication because she stated, ‘Mom… I feel numb.'”

Raney said her daughter was in a good place at the time Farver started dating Kroupa in 2012, working at her dream job in Omaha and Max was a thriving high school student.

Raney stated she began receiving unusual texts around the same time Kroupa began receiving those strong text messages. Farver had taken a new job in Kansas, according to one message, which “completely threw me.”

She attempted to contact Farver via phone, but was told that her daughter would not return her call, which was unusual. Raney reported Farver missing after she failed to show up for her half-wedding. brother’s

Raney claimed she informed the authorities that her daughter had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was taking medication for it.

“The cops pounced, saying, ‘Well, this sort of thing happens all the time.’ When someone with bipolar disorder stops taking their medication, it can lead to “some extremely crazy conduct,” according to Rule, author of “A Tangled Web.” “with relation to the case

Raney claimed she couldn’t get the cops to listen to her appeals.

The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by ABC News for comment on the investigation’s early stages. The department “takes all missing people reports seriously no matter the circumstances surrounding them,” they added in a statement.

“The available evidence during the initial investigation was inconclusive,” the statement continued, “but we did not give up.”

Meanwhile, Kroupa claims Farver has sent him hundreds of harassing text messages and emails.

One message claimed, “I will do everything I can to make you suffer.” “We belong together, Dave,” said another.

He stated the majority of the messages were about Golyar, a lady Kroupa had previously dated who ran into Farver in the hallway of Kroupa’s apartment building.

Golyar informed him that she had been receiving harassing SMS and emails as well. Kroupa claimed Golyar contacted him one day and stated her garage had been vandalized.

“When she pulled into the garage, she discovered that someone had spray painted ‘Whore from Dave’ on the inside,” Kroupa said.

In late November 2012, Golyar reported the incident to Omaha Police.

Cari Farver’s automobile was spotted in a parking lot.
Farver proceeded to miss more family gatherings as the weeks passed, including her own birthday, her son’s 15th birthday, Thanksgiving, and finally her father’s funeral.

Raney was confident there was a problem. She claimed she was still receiving texts from Farver and pleaded with her daughter to phone her so she could speak with her, but she never did. Max started getting texts from her, she said, stating she was heading to Kansas and would be there to pick him up, but she never showed up.

“Saying that I wasn’t a good mother and that I was domineering,” Raney said the texts got harsh and aggressive. She saw that the texts were frequently riddled with grammar and punctuation issues, as well as spelling errors, which she thought was unusual for her daughter, who was “a stickler for punctuation and spelling.”

Kroupa was being stalked in addition to being harassed via SMS and email.

“On one particular occasion, I was sitting in my La-Z-Boy with my feet up, watching TV, and attempting to relax when I received a text reading, ‘I see you.’ You’re wearing a blue shirt and sitting in your chair with your feet pushed up.’ And all of that was accurate “he stated

Kroupa was driving home from work one night in January 2013, about two months after the harassment began, when he observed a familiar vehicle in a neighboring parking lot. He noticed it was Farver’s Ford Explorer as he came closer. He said he snapped a photo of the license plate and sent it to Omaha Police because he had worked on the automobile before.

Only a single fingerprint was found on a mint container when authorities searched the vehicle. It didn’t match anyone in the FBI’s national database, including Farver.

The mint container found in Cari Farver’s car.

In the meantime, weeks stretched into months, and Raney had yet to locate her daughter. Five months after Farver vanished, Raney says she received a call from a man who said he’d seen Farver in a homeless shelter and that she wanted Raney to pick her up.

“I was trembling… ‘Oh my God, we’re going to bring her home, she’ll be fine,’ I thought.” Raney explained.

Raney claimed she dashed over to the shelter, where she was met by detectives. When they got there, though, they discovered Farver had never been there.

“I was extremely sad,” Raney said of the disappointment. “My hopes are raised, and then they are destroyed again… I had a feeling someone was tinkering around here.”

Max decided to message his mother’s Facebook account six months after Farver vanished to see what would happen. She responded with a message.

“‘Hey tiny man, how are you?’ it said.” Carpenter stated his opinion. “To verify that it was actually her, he asked her to answer three questions… She never responded to his message, which included his middle name, the name of their first [dog], and his best friend’s name.”

Kroupa and Golyar, who were still seeing each other on and off, continued to receive aggressive, threatening text messages.

“It was actually very usual for both of our phones to start exploding up with text messages and emails from Cari while we were… hanging out on a couch, watching TV or something,” Kroupa said.

Kroupa claimed he received an email from Farver threatening to kill Golyar, which included a photo of a lady chained in a car trunk. Kroupa contacted Golyar, who assured her that she was well. Later, Kroupa claimed that Farver emailed him a link to a false Golyar obituary.

Golyar’s house then caught fire in August 2013, killing her family pets, including two dogs, a cat, and a snake. Fire investigators suspected arson, and Golyar told cops she thought Farver was the perpetrator.

Kroupa claimed he became so paranoid at that moment that he purchased a gun, a 9mm Smith & Wesson revolver.

He was subjected to terrifying intrusions on a regular basis. The auto shop where Kroupa worked was vandalized at one occasion. Kroupa was in his apartment in January 2014 with his high school buddy Heather Twedt when Twedt said she saw his phone fill up with texts and afterwards heard someone jiggling the front door handle. Twedt claimed a brick was thrown through their window while they were in bed that night.

Amy Flora, Kroupa’s ex-girlfriend and mother of his two children, had also received threats from Farver.

“It wasn’t simply Dave and Liz who were involved. Cari set out to find anyone in Dave’s life, it seemed “Carpenter stated his opinion.

A new team picks up the case

Despite the fact that it had been two and a half years since anyone had seen Farver, the harassment persisted in spring 2015.

Detectives Ryan Avis and Jim Doty of the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office in Council Bluffs, Iowa, had never worked on the case but were aware of it. They offered to investigate Farver’s odd disappearance since it piqued their interest. The two investigators decided to take different approaches to the investigation.

“Jim will treat her as if she were dead, whereas I will treat her as if she were alive. I’m going to do everything I can to prove that Cari is still alive, and Jim is going to do everything he can to prove that she isn’t “Avis said.

As a result, they began at the beginning, delving through the case file. Farver had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but the investigators didn’t believe it had anything to do with her disappearance. Avis found it concerning that her checking account had been empty for the entire time she had been gone.

“Adults don’t usually just up and leave without spending any money. They’ve gone unnoticed, and no one has heard their voice… It didn’t make any sense, “Avis remarked. “She had a decent job and a nice home… I’d come to the conclusion that there was no way I could verify she was still alive.”

Doty said the most striking aspect for him was Golyar, who he said had never been engaged in Farver’s life until she vanished.

He explained, “All of a sudden she’s this target of harassment.” “Her name appeared in every report. So there was something with Liz for me…. She was unquestionably a figure of intrigue.”

Farver’s only means of communication has been through electronic means. As a result, Doty and Avis sought assistance from Anthony Kava, a digital forensics administrator with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office.

In 2013, both Kroupa and Golyar agreed to have the contents of their phones downloaded for the first batch of investigators. This information was contained in the original case file, and Kava began to make connections.

“We realized these texts didn’t appear to be from Cari Farver,” Kava explained. “Over the course of three years, Cari, or the imposter who seemed to be Cari, sent Dave over 15,000 email communications…. It could have been as many as 25,000 or 50,000 texts in total.”

“Whoever was pretending to be Cari… became more and more sophisticated in what they were doing to attempt to mask their IP address, to try to hide their true identity,” he continued.

In Golyar’s phone dump, investigators discovered a snapshot of Farver’s Ford Explorer, which included information indicating that the photo was taken around a month before police retrieved the car.

“Somehow Liz had figured out where Cari’s car was before police enforcement,” Doty stated. “Another thing we discovered on the phone download was that there were six calls made to Cari’s home.” Liz was calling Cari six times because the number was disguised with the *67 prefix. We didn’t understand because she said she’d only met him once.

Investigators also discovered a photo of a lady who had been bound and emailed to Kroupa, which they established had been taken by Golyar’s phone. A camera recording of someone walking outside of Kroupa’s apartment was also discovered. It was uploaded to YouTube in Farver’s name, but it was linked to an IP address associated with Golyar’s home.

Doty and Avis went to interview Nancy Raney in May 2015, and throughout the interview, they stated that they believed her assertions that her daughter was missing and that something had happened to her.

Investigators also discovered a photo of a lady who had been bound and emailed to Kroupa, which they established had been taken by Golyar’s phone. A camera recording of someone walking outside of Kroupa’s apartment was also discovered. It was uploaded to YouTube in Farver’s name, but it was linked to an IP address associated with Golyar’s home.

Doty and Avis went to interview Nancy Raney in May 2015, and throughout the interview, they stated that they believed her assertions that her daughter was missing and that something had happened to her.

“I just want you to know, I don’t think she went of her own free will,” [Doty] stated, and she said it was the first time somebody in a position of authority had told her that. “I had a feeling something was about to happen right now.”

Raney gave investigators another hint during their meeting. She informed them that after Farver vanished in 2012, she received a text message informing her that Farver had sold all of her belongings and asked Raney to allow the buyer into the house to pick it up. Raney received a snapshot of a cheque for that furniture made out to Farver and signed by “Shanna Golyar” as alleged verification of the transaction.

“While that didn’t provide us with any answers as to what had happened to Cari, we felt Liz knew more than she was letting on.”

The mystery fingerprint found in Farver’s car was also linked to Golyar, according to the investigators.

Kroupa discovered his weapon, which he had purchased for protection, was stolen as their inquiry progressed. He reported it as stolen to the authorities.

Detectives devise a scheme to seek Liz Golyar’s assistance.

Doty and Avis were at the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 4, 2015, when Golyar walked in. They were taken aback when they saw her and discovered she was there to file a harassment complaint against Kroupa’s ex-girlfriend, Amy Flora.

Avis drove over to her house after Golyar had left, ostensibly to question her about her complaint. She told Avis that she now believes it was Flora, not Farver, who had been sending her frightening notes all along.

The investigator requested that he be allowed to download the contents of her phone so that they could examine the messages. Golyar signed and returned the consent form.

Avis expressed surprise that she consented to it. Obtaining access to Golyar’s phone information was a crucial step in the inquiry.

Avis claimed Golyar mentioned during their talk that she knew Kroupa’s gun, which she properly recognized as a 9mm Smith & Wesson, was gone and assumed Flora had stolen it.

“She realized she probably shouldn’t know any information about the rifle,” Avis recalled, “and then she was very evasive about any more questions I asked regarding the pistol.”

In an odd turn of events, Golyar called 911 the next day, stating she had been wounded in the leg while strolling alone at night in Council Bluffs’ Big Lake Park. According to investigators, Golyar stated she didn’t know who the perpetrator was at first, but then said she assumed it was Flora.

“I considered it exceedingly strange that she felt compelled to inform me the day before that Dave Kroupa’s rifle had been stolen… She is shot less than 24 hours later “Avis said. “It was rapidly discovered that Liz Golyar had most likely shot herself.”

Flora was released the same evening, according to police.

After the second download, Kava started to work combing through the contents on Golyar’s phone. Golyar had registered “upwards of 20 or 30 false [email] addresses,” all of which were variations of Farver’s name, he discovered.

Golyar was also using an app that allowed her to schedule future communications, which Kava noticed. This explained how she could be with Kroupa and receive messages on both of their phones.

“She could send messages pretending to be Cari, and they would come while she was seated next to Dave on the couch,” Kava explained. “Liz couldn’t have sent it from Dave’s perspective because she was sitting next to him the entire time.”

Golyar must have spent between 40 to 50 hours a week emulating Farver, according to Kava.

“Trying to stalk people and send them messages seemed to be a full-time occupation for her,” he claimed.

Two weeks after she was shot, Doty and Avis brought Golyar in for an interview. They claimed at the time that Golyar kept pressuring them to look into Flora, despite the fact that they had no notion she was the major suspect in Farver’s disappearance.

Doty and Avis devised a strategy. They planned to inform Golyar that they felt Flora had shot her and that they needed Golyar’s help to persuade Flora to confess. They asked Golyar to contact Flora and check if she knew anything about Cari Farver’s disappearance. Of course, the police were well aware that Flora had nothing to do with Farver’s disappearance or the years of threatening texts.

The inside of Cari Farver’s car showing the mint container in the middle console.

Their strategy worked. They claimed Golyar faked emails she claimed were from Flora very immediately.

“We started getting communications… from Amy [Flora]… where Amy confesses to shooting Liz at Big Lake Park,” Doty added.

He and Avis persisted in pressuring Golyar to interrogate “Flora,” who they assumed was Golyar, about Farver’s death. Golyar did just that a few days later.

They claimed she sent them an email purporting to be from Flora, in which she claimed to have stabbed Farver “three to four times” and thrown her body into a rubbish bag.

“Because they were explicit,” Doty added, “the details were… bone chilling.”

According to the detectives, Golyar became increasingly enraged as time passed that Flora had not been apprehended. Doty said that he needed more information, which only the killer could provide.

They claimed that more “confession” emails from “Flora” appeared within hours. Farver was stabbed to death in her own automobile, according to the emails.

“These communications… identified Cari’s vehicle as a crime scene,” Doty explained. “What we wanted to do was go back and investigate the vehicle to see if the crime took place there.”

Farver’s vehicle had been searched three times by police, but this time, according to Doty, they removed the cloth from the passenger seat. They discovered a scarlet smear that was later proved to be Farver’s blood.

Golyar is arrested for the murder of Cari Farver

Because the crime was most likely committed in Omaha, the Omaha Police Department was called in, and cold case homicide detective Dave Schneider was assigned to the case.

Det. Schneider questioned Golyar and presented her with the evidence obtained thus far by Doty, Avis, and Kava, including images on her phone, IP addresses tracked back to her home, and confession emails from “Flora.”

Golyar claimed she didn’t know anything and didn’t have access to the internet. Doty and Avis had obtained a search warrant for her flat while she was being interrogated.

They discovered several of Farver’s belongings inside, including a digital camera and a camcorder that they suspected Golyar had taken from Farver’s home. They discovered video of Farver talking about how her car had been vandalized on the camcorder. Two days before she vanished, it was time stamped.
The cover has been removed from Cari Farver’s passenger vehicle seat.

The passenger car seat from Cari Farver’s car with the cover removed.

Golyar was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on December 22, 2016.

“This was by far the most challenging case I’ve ever tried,” said Douglas County attorney Brenda Beadle, who prosecuted the case.

“The majority of homicides take place in the dark. This one was so odd that it would take a lot of convincing to convince someone that it actually happened “she stated “Someone would never let their dog perish in a fire that they created. It’s impossible for someone to shoot themselves in the femur.”

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