1:21 PM PDT, November 5, 2021
A beloved high school Spanish teacher who was recently praised by a student during National Teacher Appreciation Week was found slain in a park. Two students have been charged with her slaying, officials said.
Willard Noble Chaiden Miller and Jeremy Everett Goodale are charged with first-degree homicide. Authorities have not revealed a motive.
Nohema Graber, 66, who taught at Fairfield High School in Iowa was reported missing on Wednesday. Her body was found under a tarpaulin in the park later that day.
Police said the two accused boys knew she took a regular stroll in the park every day and were waiting to ambush her, authorities said.
Her cause of death was said to be a blow to her head, officials said.
Christine Branstad, a lawyer for Chaiden Miller, gave a statement to Inside Edition Digital. “As you would expect, our judicial process takes time to bring all evidence and circumstances to light. I cannot yet speak to this case, but you can expect that most cases follow a path of investigation and discovery,” Branstad said. “At this time the family of Chaiden Miller express their heartfelt sympathy to the family of Nohema Graber.”
The slain teacher’s son, who described his mother as “an angel of a woman and one of the kindest souls,” said in a Facebook post that he “forgives them.”
“I forgive them and feel sorry that they had that anger in their heart. There’s no point in being angry at them,” he said.
The school, which has a student body of 522, was closed on Friday to allow staff and teachers to mourn Graber, who had taught at the school for nine years.
The school’s superintendent Dr. Laurie Noll, FCSD said the high school building will be open for staff and students who want to meet with school counselors, AEA Crisis Response Team, and pastor relations.
“Fairfield Community School District is saddened by the tragic death of longtime teacher, Mrs. Nohema Graber. In her nine years with Fairfield High School, Mrs. Graber touched the lives of many students, parents, and staff,” Noll said.
She continued. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones of Mrs. Graber.
At this time our students’ and staffs’ well-being is our top priority. As a community, we will remain united in this time of tragedy.”