Keokuk man dies after January assault

Son charged with felony in incident. Additional charges may be pending.


KEOKUK - A Keokuk man may have died due to injuries suffered at the hands of his son in January.
Keokuk Police Chief Zeth Baum said Gary L. Rockenbach died February 1st after a stay at an area medical facility following the incident on January 22nd and an autopsy has been ordered.
According to Keokuk arrest records, at approximately 7:23 p.m., on Jan. 22, Keokuk Police Officers were dispatched to 416 Burke Street in reference to a disturbance.
Through an investigation, officers discovered that Gary L. Rockenbach, 84, received injuries during a physical altercation with his son, Craig L. Rockenbach, 43. The assault took place after a disagreement over food.
The Lee County Ambulance Service was requested by officers at 7:28 p.m. and arrived on scene at 7:31 p.m. Gary Rockenbach was transported to a medical facility to receive treatment for his injuries.
Craig Rockenbach was arrested at 7:34 p.m. for Assault Causing Bodily injury, a serious misdemeanor. He was transported to the Lee County Jail.
On January 29th, 2024, our department received additional information in regards to internal injuries suffered by Gary Rockenbach during the January 22nd incident. This information was forwarded to the Lee County Attorney’s Office, and the original charge was amended to Willful Injury Causing Serious Injury, a class C felony.
On February 1st, 2024, our department was notified of Gary Rockenbach’s death in a medical facility. This matter is an ongoing investigation, and an autopsy has been requested to determine the cause of death.
The loss of life within our community is always a tragic event. This type of loss can deeply impact not only the decedent’s loved ones but also the entire community. We extend our condolences to the friends and family of Gary Rockenbach.
An arrest is merely an accusation supported by probable cause and, all defendants are presumed innocent unless convicted in a court of law.

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