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A deadly love triangle: What happened to Cari Farver?

A smashed smartphone on the floor
Image: Ashkan Forouzani / Unsplash

Lover, Stalker, KIller

In busy modern life, online dating has become an easy way for people to meet like-minded individuals and potentially form a blossoming romance. However, for some people, hiding behind a screen can mask their sinister intentions.

The relationship between Dave Kroupa and Liz Golyar

After separating from his long-term girlfriend, Amy Flora, with whom he fathered two children, Dave Kroupa wanted a fresh start. In 2012, he decided to sign up for online dating, where he met single parent Liz Golyar.

The pair started seeing each other, but before the relationship progressed further, Dave informed Golyar that he wasn’t looking for anything serious. Golyar appeared to be happy and understanding about his wishes.

Who was Cari Farver?

Several months later, Cari Farver walked into Dave’s automobile shop in Omaha, Nebraska and the pair immediately felt a connection and started to date.

After one of their dates, the couple went back to Dave’s apartment. As Cari left, she passed a woman in the hallway. The woman was Golyar, who had turned up unannounced to pick up her belongings.

The stalking of Dave Kroupa

As the weeks went by, Dave and Cari were getting closer. Cari wanted to remain in a casual relationship and continued to stay over at Dave’s apartment. On 13th November 2012, Cari left for work as normal, but this was the last time Dave ever saw her alive.

A few hours later, he received a text from Cari explaining that she now wanted to move in with him. He politely turned her down and received an angry message in response. This was just the start of a barrage of aggressive texts Dave received. Around this time, Golyar also received threatening messages from Cari.

A family’s despair

Cari messaged her mother, Nancy Raney, and told her she had moved to Texas to start a new job and would contact her to discuss collecting her teenage son. Nancy immediately knew something was wrong and as the weeks went by, Cari missed her son’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and her father's funeral.

Nancy contacted the authorities, who tried to get in touch with her daughter. They managed to contact Cari, who said she wanted to be left alone. The concerned mother had informed investigators that her daughter had recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and they assumed she may have come off her medication and vanished on her own accord.

The stalking turns deadly

By the summer of 2013, Golyar and Dave had spent months bonding over Cari’s threatening messages. In August of that year, Golyar frantically called Dave and told him her house was on fire and her pets had died in the blaze.

Shortly after the fire, Cari sent a message which said, ‘I am not lying I set that nasty w***e’s house on fire. I hope the w***e and her kids die in it.’

In February 2015, Dave relocated to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and stopped spending as much time with Golyar. It was around this time that the authorities began to investigate Cari’s disappearance.

What happened to Cari Farver?

By the spring of 2015, it had been three years since Cari was last seen alive. Investigator Ryan Avis and Sergeant Jim Dotty from the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office took on the case.

Upon re-examination of evidence, bloodstains were discovered under the fabric of the passenger seat in Cari’s car. Avis and Dotty also uncovered evidence that suggested Cari had never sent any messages herself.

After piecing the evidence together, the investigators concluded that Golyar had murdered Cari in 2012 and kept her phone to pose as her digitally. To cover her tracks, Golyar sent herself threatening messages from Cari’s phone and also burnt down her own house.

A vital piece of evidence was a memory card belonging to Golyar, which contained a vast number of fake email accounts and a photo of Cari’s body.

On 22nd December 2016, Golyar was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.