Stalker Convicted Of Murdering Missing Woman Spent Up To 50 Hours Weekly On Twisted Plot
Cari Farver vanished shortly after she began seeing a man who she met at an auto repair shop in Nebraska.
A man in Nebraska who dated a woman for two weeks before she mysteriously vanished received around 15,000 emails and as many as 50,000 texts over the next three years from what appeared to be a very jealous and spiteful stalker.
In 2012, Dave Kroupa moved to Omaha, where he began a new job as the manager of an auto repair shop. He also was trying to move forward with his life following the end of his relationship with his girlfriend and mother of his two children, Amy Flora.
“I didn't know how to venture back into the dating pool,” Kroupa said in an ABC News interview. “I felt pretty rusty … so internet dating was … the way to go.”
Over the next months, Kroupa began seeing different women he met online. One day, however, single mother Cari Farver, 37, came into his auto repair shop with her Ford Explorer and caught his eye. Kroupa recalled he found Farver “extremely attractive” and there was “a little spark” when the two looked at each other.
He asked her out and they went on their first date. That night at Kroupa’s apartment, Farver let him know she didn’t want a serious relationship. His response? “I felt like I hit the jackpot with that,” he said.
When the evening ended, Farver left Kroupa’s apartment. In the hallway on her way out, she passed Shanna Elizabeth Golyar, a woman who Kroupa had been seeing for the previous six months.
Kroupa said Golyar, also a single mother, was aware he was dating other women and she had stopped by his apartment complex unannounced to get some of her belongings.
On Nov. 12, 2012, Farver, a computer programmer, stayed the night at Kroupa’s apartment and the next morning she got ready to leave for her office, which was located nearby.
The two kissed goodbye and made plans to see each other in the evening. Later that day, Kroupa received a text from Farver that he said came out of left field: a request to move in with him.
Kroupa was confused since he and Farver had only just begun seeing each other and they’d already discussed how they both wanted to keep their developing relationship on the casual side. He wrote back and declined.
He said he was “blown away” when he got a profanity-laced text in return. “Fine. I hate you. I'm dating someone else. I don't want to see you anymore. Go away,” the message read, according to ABC News.
Two days later, more bizarre messages began rolling in. “I don't need this… I dodged a bullet,” Kroupa recalled thinking of the situation at the time.
Farver's mother, Nancy Raney, also began to get texts, including one that said Farver was relocating to Kansas for a new job. Raney unsuccessfully tried to call her daughter, and she finally reported her missing when she was a no-show at a family wedding.
Raney claimed authorities at first failed to take her seriously after she told them her daughter had been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder but had been in a good place.
The sheriff’s office in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, where Farver lived, told ABC News in a statement that the “available evidence during the initial investigation was inconclusive, but we did not give up.”
Neither did Farver, or whoever was posing as her and firing off harassing text and email messages. “I hate you so much that I want to drive a knife in your heart,” read one message sent to Kroupa. Another warned: “I will do what I can to make you suffer.”
Kroupa said that many messages referenced Golyar, the woman he was dating when he met Farver.
Golyar also began to receive messages and experience disturbing incidents, including someone breaking into her garage and spray painting the words “Whore from Dave.” Her two dogs and other pets were killed when her home caught fire in a suspected case of arson.
In January 2013, Kroupa spotted Farver’s Ford Explorer in a parking lot. A police search turned up just one clue that would years later help crack the case — a fingerprint left on a mint container, according to ABC News.
In the meantime, the texts kept coming in to Kroupa and Golyar, who were still occasionally seeing each other. “It was actually extremely common for us to be… hanging out on a couch, watching TV or something and both of our phones would start blowing up with text messages and emails from Cari,” Kroupa said.
Flora, the mother of Kroupa’s two children, was also on the receiving end of threatening messages.
In 2015, two detectives with the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office took over the case, one investigating as if Farver was dead, the other as if she were still alive.
Detective Ryan Avis worked the angle Farver was just missing and he learned she never used her checking account after she vanished.
“It's not normal for adults to just up and leave and literally spend no money. No one's seen them and no one's heard their voice... It just didn't make sense,” Avis said. “She had good income, a good house… I had come to the conclusion that I could not prove she was actually alive.”
Detective Jim Doty spotted another strange detail. Farver didn’t know Golyar but “all of a sudden she’s this focus of harassment,” he said. “[Golyar’s] name was all over all the reports. So, to me, there was something with Liz. … She definitely was a person of interest.”
Golyar quickly became the main focus of the investigation after the detectives’ colleague, digital forensics specialist Anthony Kava, studied the contents downloaded from Kroupa and Golyar’s cell phones during the initial investigation in 2013.
What was found on Golyar’s device was damning, according to the detectives. The evidence included photos of Farver’s Ford Explorer that metadata indicated were shot around a month before Kroupa spotted the vehicle.
“Somehow Liz knew where Cari's vehicle was before law enforcement even did,” Doty pointed out.
Golyar’s phone also contained a picture of a woman tied up in the trunk of a vehicle. Kava determined the shot, which Kroupa once received in an email, was photographed on Golyar’s phone.
The fingerprint found in Farver’s car two years earlier was matched to Goyler.
In December 2015, detectives Avis and Doty got an unexpected opportunity when Golyar out of the blue claimed to police that Kroupa’s ex-girlfriend and the mother of his children, Flora, was harassing her.
Golyar told the investigators she believed Flora was the one responsible for sending her the threatening emails and texts over the years. Avis and Doty asked Golyar if they could download the contents of her phone for a second time. She agreed.
The detectives’ case against Golyar became stronger as the digital forensics specialist dug into the phone’s contents.
Among his discoveries, Kava said he found that Golyar had registered as many as 30 fake email addresses. Golyar also used an app to schedule when future messages would be sent. Conveniently, Kava said, messages would at times “arrive while she was sitting on the couch next to Dave.”
Planning and carrying out the intricate scheme through the years probably ate up as many as 50 hours a week of Golyar’s time, Kava noted, and it “seemed to be a full-time occupation for her, trying to stalk people and send them messages.”
Golyar eventually incriminated herself when the detectives asked her to contact Flora, who police had already cleared in the case, and try to get her to divulge details on what might have happened to Farver.
“We started receiving messages … that [Golyar] said were from Amy [Flora],” Doty said.
One message Goyler forwarded to detectives divulged chilling details about Farver’s death. According to the investigators, the message Goyler claimed was from Flora stated Farver’s body was stuffed in a garbage bag after she was stabbed multiple times.
More messages with graphic details rolled in, all purportedly from Flora.
Authorities eventually secured and served a search warrant on Golyar’s home. The search turned up Farver’s camera and camcorder.
Detectives arrested Golyar on a first-degree murder charge on Dec. 22, 2016 — just over three years after Farver vanished.
Golyar was convicted the following year and sentenced to life in prison.
“The successful investigation between the Omaha Police Department and the Potawatomi County Sheriff Office resulted in the successful prosecution of Shanna Golyar and brought to light an extreme level of deception that law enforcement rarely encounters,” Omaha police officials said in a statement to ABC News.
“Doty, Avis, Kava, they're all heroes,” Kroupa told the network.
Raney, the victim’s mother, called the three investigators “my boys.”
“Those guys, they mean the world to me,” Raney said. “I can't thank them enough.”