Related topics

Daughter returns to Iowa fair 22 years after parents’ deaths

August 9, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The daughter of two Iowa State Fair concession owners killed 22 years ago at the fair campgrounds has returned to the fair, carrying on the family funnel cake business.

Jada Blewer Smith was 16 when her parents, Bobbie and Marylin Blewer, were fatally shot in their camper on Aug. 12, 1996. Blewer Smith was working at the family funnel cake stand at the time.

“Coming back here is painful and happy,” she said. “It’s the place I lost my parents. But there are also so many great concessionaires here and, now that I am friends with them, it’s like a big family.”

Her sister and brother-in-law, Jamie and Rodney Borushaski, and family friend Jerimy Sneed are serving life sentences for the killings. Police alleged that Sneed was hired by Jaime and Rodney Borushaski to kill the Blewers and steal $22,000 from their safe. Jaime and Rodney Borushaski maintain their innocence.

“Not only did I lose my parents; I lost my sister, too,” Blewer Smith said.

She said she has carried out her parents’ dream and traveled the Midwest working as a fair vendor. Blewer Smith said she hopes her parents would approve of her decision to return to the Iowa fair.

“I think they would be proud,” she said.

Blewer Smith expects to receive questions from old friends and fairgoers who might remember the tragedy. She said that she’ll do her best to answer those questions.

“I don’t think you’ll ever forget the history that we have here,” she said. “You just try to move on and take it day by day.”

The Iowa State Fair begins Thursday. It runs through Aug. 19.

Update hourly