Nedra and Jim Lemke Murders: Where is Kevin Anderson Now?

Image Credit: Connie Congdon/Find a Grave

The ‘America’s Most Wanted’ episode about Nedra and Jim Lemke murders gives us a detailed account of the case, including the events that led to the tragedy as well as the extensive investigation that followed. The detectives delved deep into the search for the perpetrator/s responsible for the gruesome crime. With the help of interviews with the victims’ family and friends, and the officials directly involved in the case, we are kept in the loop of the 2020 case that sent shockwaves across the community.

How Did Nedra and Jim Lemke Die?

Nedra Jan Lemke (née Anderson) was born on August 17, 1962, to loving parents Verdal and Christy Anderson. Having grown up in the company of her siblings — Vione (Tim) Lightfield, Jody Anderson, Kevin (Lynn) Anderson, and Kirk Anderson — Nedra turned out to be a fun and caring woman. Later in life, she crossed paths with James Henry “Jim” Lemke and sparks flew between them. Jim, who was brought into the world on October 5, 1960, by Martin Gerhardt Lemke Jr. and Florence Elizabeth Welborne Richardson, was accompanied by his beloved siblings — Dan (Janelle) Lemke, Jackie (Paul) Schwemmer, Sarah (Dennis) Baumann, and the late Gary Lemke — while growing up. Nedra and Jim eventually decided to put a label on their love by tying the knot in 1981.

Image Credit: Connie Congdon/Find a Grave

The pair’s union brought forth five kids — Joseph Lemke, Jennifer (Walter) Majewski, Amanda (Jacob) Waterworth, Jacob Lemke, and Joshua Lemke. The owners of J-N-L Wrought Iron and Power Gate Opener Systems were longtime residents of Sumner in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. The devout Christians were highly respected in the community and served as the leaders of the Youth Ministry of Faith Community Church in the area. Described as a “man’s man” by his son Josh, Jim was always ready to aid those in need. Even in his 50s, he was fit as a fiddle and participated in many marathons. Jim’s emergence as one of the finishers in the ultramarathon titled the Gnarly Bandit Series in 2016 served as a testament to his fitness.

Meanwhile, Nedra held the position of the Decorations Coordinator at Vacation Bible School for years. She was adored by many for the warmheartedness and care she bestowed upon each and every one whose lives she touched. Nedra and Jim were each other’s biggest cheerleaders as they navigated the ebbs and flow of life they built with the kids they welcomed into the world and the many they fostered along the way. Therefore, their loss left a profound impact on their family members and loved ones. On the evening of June 16, 2020, around 5:48 pm, when the two reached their farm, they realized something was amiss. Believing it to be a supposed burglary, Nedra quickly dialed 911 and reported: “There’s windows broken out, windows open, and we had locked the house down.”

Nedra further stated that they wouldn’t enter the house without the declaration of safety from the officers. When the Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy reached the site approximately 12 minutes later, he was shocked to discover a woman lying down in the driveway. While summoning officers for backup, he was ambushed by shots that came from Nedra and Jim’s farmhouse. In retaliation, the officer fired four shots and took cover from the gunfire. On the arrival of the backup officers, they witnessed the farmhouse ablaze. Following that, they also chanced upon Jim’s body near their vehicle, not far from where the officer had spotted an unresponsive Nedra earlier. They declared that gunshots claimed the lives of the pair, and an investigation into their deaths was launched.

Who Killed Nedra and Jim Lemke?

While looking for evidence, the police discovered the truck of Nedra’s brother Kevin Anderson in an outbuilding, but he was nowhere to be found, neither around his vehicle nor inside the burned-out building. After inspecting the crime scene, the investigators held interviews with Nedra and Jim’s relatives and loved ones, only to learn that the couple had attended Nedra’s father’s funeral on June 12, 2020, just a few days prior to their murders.

Joshua, the youngest child of the Lemkes, reportedly noticed some kind of tension brewing up among the family over Verdal’s estate. As per the claims of the victims’ families, the fact that Nedra was found to be the executor of the estate got her elder brother, Kevin Anderson’ angry and disappointed. Then, a few days later, on June 16, 2020, she called Kevin up and left a message for him regarding her plans with the inherited farm property.

Later that evening, all hell broke loose when Nedra and her husband Jim arrived at the property. With every lead pointing towards Kevin, the authorities employed a drone to search for the primary suspect in the nearby area. The police received some anonymous tips but it turned out to be a false alarm each time. Even after scouring through the area for the next few months, Kevin could not be found. As incriminating evidence surfaced against the then-61-year-old man, the investigators even issued arrest warrants for him and asked hunters to keep searching for him.

Kevin Anderson Remains at Large

But even after nearly three years, the search for the primary suspect — Kevin Anderson — in the case of Jim and Nedra Lemke murders continues. The lead detective of the case considered that he was alive and in hiding as he had no evidence to prove that he had been deceased. So, he is still keeping his hopes up along with the victims’ family members that they might learn more about his whereabouts sooner rather than later.

However, for the victims’ families, the silence and not bringing the perpetrator to justice in more than two years have been a lot to deal with. Joshua Lemke had a few things to say about the entire situation. He stated, “I think that having like closure to the story itself has plenty of value in and of itself that there’s not this guy walking around doing whatever he wants to do now,” Josh said. As of now, Kevin Anderson remains on the run but is charged with two counts of first-degree homicide, one count of attempted first-degree homicide, one count of arson, and one count of possession of a firearm.

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