UPDATE: Oldson Waives Extradition in 1989 Cathy Beard Murder

by Andrew Mihm

A former Ord man charged in the 1989 cold case homicide of Catherine Beard has waived extradition.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday, authorities from Valley County, Nebraska, Nebraska State Patrol and Clay County, Missouri arrested John Oldson, 45, formerly of Ord, Nebraska for the 1989 murder of Catherine Beard, 30.

"I would like to extend my condolences to the Beard family and friends during this difficult time," said Sheriff Hurlbert in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. "The Valley County Sheriff's Office and the Nebraska State Patrol is pleased that justice is finally being served for Cathy Beard and her Family."

"Other agencies in Missouri have been in contact with us regarding John Oldson and the case in Valley County. I am not able to make comments on any other agencies on-going criminal investigations."

Beard went missing after leaving a tavern in Ord on May 31, 1989. The woman's skeletal remains were found on a dirt road outside Ord on April 26, 1992, according to the Nebraska State Patrol Cold Case Playing Cards.

According to a press release from the Clay County, Missouri Sheriff, autopsy results showed Beard died from blunt and sharp force trauma.

Previous investigations had been conducted in 1989 and 1992 but local authorities say charges were never filed.

The case was re-opened in 2008 when Valley County Sheriff Casey Hurlburt was appointed. Former Valley County Attorney, now Assistant County Attorney, Glen Clark directed Sheriff Hurlburt to "fully review the matter and conduct an extensive investigation to determine who committed the crime," according to a Valley County press release; many agencies have been involved with the investigation.

The Clay County press release details what authorities say is a history of violence against women and children.

Oldson was convicted of a 1989 assault of a 51-year-old woman in Burwell, Nebraska. He was sentenced to nine months in jail.

Oldson was convicted of two separate assaults against women in April and September of 1992.

In 2003, Oldson was convicted of felony child abuse and sent to prison for "sticking needles into the stomachs of his two step-daughters," according to the press release.

"This is a bad man with a very disturbing violent past," said Clay County Sheriff Bob Boydston. "When Valley County Sheriff Hurlburt contacted our office about Oldson and his history, I knew we needed to take action quickly to get him in custody. I am grateful for his perseverance in this case and that we were able to work with his office. The arrest last night makes our community safer and was the first step towards justice for Catherine Beard."

Authorities believe Oldson moved to his mother's Independence, Missouri home in 2005, after his release from prison. They believe Oldson married and the couple moved to Randolph around 2010.

A first degree murder charge was filed against Oldson in connection with Beard's 1989 murder January 19, 2012 in Valley County court. An arrest warrant was issued by County Judge Alan Brodbeck January 23.

Oldson was arrested while leaving his Randolph, Missouri home, according to WDAF-TV Kansas City Reporter Robert Townsend.

Oldson is being held in the Clay County, Missouri jail on $1,000,000 bond, 10%.

If convicted, Oldson could face the death penalty.

Oldson's first appearance in Valley County Court is scheduled for February 6.

Anyone with information regarding the murder of Catherine Beard or regarding John Oldson is asked to contact the Valley County Sheriff's Office at 308-728-3906, the Nebraska State Patrol at 1-800-422-1494, the Clay County, Missouri Sheriff's Office at 816-407-3700 or the Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

n. Information on other Nebraska cold cases can be found at the Nebraska State Patrol Website.

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