Family of Clinton homicide victim react to heartbreak, shock

Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 4:10 PM CDT
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CLINTON, Iowa (KWQC) - On Saturday a man was found dead in an apartment on 31st Avenue North in Clinton following an early morning fire.

30-year-old Trevor ward was arrested several hours later and charged with first-degree murder and first-degree arson in the death of 41-year-old Dustin Doran.

“He was goofy, he was always someone that was trying to make people smile,” said Doran’s younger brother, Robbie Doran, who says the family has been left in shock and disbelief, “it’s heartbreaking, it really is.”

Doran’s body was found in his apartment around 7am on March 26, after police and firefighters responded to a fire at this apartment complex near downtown Clinton.

Doran had just moved to Clinton in January after going through a treatment program for drug addiction. The apartment was a place he proudly boasted about on Facebook, as a symbol that his life was on the up and up.

“He was very proud to be independent and be on his own and things were going really good for him,” said Robbie.

But a few weeks ago Robbie says Dustin found himself in need of money, and so he got a new room mate to help him out. That man was Trevor Ward.

“They met each other in treatment in Des Moines,” Robbie said, “they had only lived with him for two weeks but that was the person that killed him.”

A neighbor of Doran’s said that on the morning he was found dead, she heard arguing that sounded like a loud man and a soft spoken person. She said she heard a loud thump inside his apartment around 6 AM.

Police and firefighters said in the criminal complaint that Doran’s injuries indicated homicide, and the apartment fire was intentionally set.

Hours later around noon, Ward was arrested in the 400 block of fifth Avenue South in Clinton for assaulting a 65-year-old man, according to police.

At that time, police say Ward had Doran’s wallet with his Social Security card in it. They also say Ward was wearing a pair of tennis shoes that Doran had previously posted a photo of on Facebook.

It’s a tragic outcome from a circumstance that Doran’s family says originated with just needing help with rent. “He didn’t deserve that,” said Robbie.

Clinton fire and police declined comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

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