Man convicted in 1993 Wright County kidnapping case dies in prison

NEWTON — A Wright County man sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of raping and kidnapping a woman in 1993 has died.

Pete Alspach and his nephew randomly selected a woman for a planned sexual assault. His nephew hid in the back of the victim’s van in a grocery store parking lot, and forced her at gunpoint to drive into the country when she returned to her car. Alspach followed in another vehicle. His nephew ordered the woman to pull over where both he and Alspach forced the woman to submit to sexual abuse. Alspach was convicted of first-degree kidnapping and sentenced to life.

The Iowa Department of Corrections says the 73-year-old Alspach was pronounced dead due to an unexpected medical emergency on Saturday in the Newton Correctional Facility. The department says foul play was not suspected, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.