In November 2012, Shanna "Liz" Golyar murdered Cari Farver, then spent the next three years pretending to be her while sending tens of thousands of texts and emails to their shared love interest.
The murder of Cari Farver is one of the most chilling — and bizarre — true crime cases in modern American history. The 37-year-old woman from Iowa started a whirlwind romance with Dave Kroupa of Omaha, Nebraska in October 2012 — and two weeks later, she vanished, never to be seen again.
Kroupa, however, had nothing to do with her mysterious disappearance. Farver was abducted and murdered by Shanna “Liz” Golyar, a woman Kroupa had been casually dating before he met Farver.
For the next three years, Golyar posed as Farver, sending thousands of text messages and emails to Kroupa and Farver’s family members. She even sent threatening messages to herself so that Kroupa wouldn’t catch on to her act.
Because the texts and emails were coming from Farver’s accounts, it wasn’t until 2015 that authorities really started looking into her disappearance. As they began investigating Golyar, they learned the entire ruse went much deeper than anyone could have ever imagined.
The Whirlwind Relationship Of Cari Farver And Dave Kroupa
In 2012, Dave Kroupa was working at an auto repair shop in Omaha, Nebraska. At the time, he was hoping for a fresh start in life. He’d just split up with his long-time girlfriend, Amy Flora, with whom he shared two children. He soon decided to sign up for an online dating site, where he met Liz Golyar.
The two began seeing each other, but before things could get too deep, Kroupa reportedly informed Golyar that he wasn’t looking for anything serious. Golyar, a single mother, was happy with that arrangement — or so she claimed.
Several months after meeting Golyar, Kroupa spotted Cari Farver when she walked into his shop. He immediately knew there was something special about her.
“When we looked at each other, there was a little spark,” Kroupa later told ABC News. “She’s showing me something inside the vehicle and we’re standing there, and we’re very close… and there was some tension.”
Kroupa asked Farver out on a date, where they discussed that neither of them was looking for an exclusive relationship. The two returned to his apartment, and as Farver was leaving later, she passed a woman in the hallway. It was Golyar, who had dropped by unannounced to pick up some of her things.
It was this chance meeting — a meeting that couldn’t have lasted more than a few seconds — that would change the course of both women’s lives.
The Mysterious Disappearance Of Cari Farver
Within weeks of meeting Farver, Dave Kroupa was beginning to rethink his commitment to bachelorhood. Farver still wanted to keep things casual, but she did agree to stay with him for a few nights in November 2012. She was working on a major project for her job, and Kroupa’s apartment was much closer to her office than her home was.
The last time anyone saw Cari Farver alive was Nov. 13, 2012. She’d spent the night with Kroupa, and he gave her a kiss as she left for work — but she never returned.
A few hours later, however, Kroupa received an odd text from Farver. She told him she wanted to officially move in with him, despite the fact that they’d just discussed keeping things casual. He politely declined, and he received an angry message in response.
He recalled to Oxygen’s Dateline: Secrets Uncovered, “As soon as I text her back, I get a text back that says, ‘Fine, I don’t ever want to see you again, go away, I’m dating somebody else, I hate you,’ on and on and on.”
Farver’s family started receiving texts as well. Her mother, Nancy Raney, got a message from Farver saying she had moved to Kansas for a new job and would get in touch to make arrangements about picking up her 15-year-old son, Max. Raney thought this was strange, but when Farver missed her half-brother’s wedding and her father’s funeral, she knew something was dreadfully wrong.
Authorities reportedly tried to get in touch with Farver, but when they received messages from her number asking them to leave her alone, they dropped it. Raney also told them that Farver had previously been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, so investigators assumed she’d stopped taking her medication and vanished of her own accord. It would be years before they realized how wrong they were.
The Shocking Harassment Of Dave Kroupa And Liz Golyar
On Aug. 17, 2013, Liz Golyar called Dave Kroupa in a panic. For months, the two had bonded over the threatening messages they were both receiving from Cari Farver, but now things had seemingly escalated.
Golyar said her house had been set ablaze and her beloved pets had perished in the fire. Kroupa soon received a text from Farver’s number that read, “I am not lying I set that nasty wh—’s house on fire. I hope the wh— and her kids die in it.”
Kroupa also started receiving texts outlining exactly what he was doing or what he was wearing at the moment. Some of these messages would come in while he was in the same room as Golyar and could see that she wasn’t using her phone at the time, so he had no reason to suspect she was behind them.
When Kroupa changed his phone number, the messages abated for a while. In February 2015, he moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa, and he stopped spending as much time with Golyar.
It was around this same time that detectives finally began digging deeper into Cari Farver’s odd disappearance.
Uncovering The Chilling Truth About Cari Farver
In the spring of 2015, detectives Ryan Avis and Jim Doty of the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office in Council Bluffs started a full-blown investigation into Farver’s whereabouts, according to Distractify. They suspected she was dead, but they weren’t sure when or how she’d died.
Investigators had searched Cari Farver’s abandoned car shortly after her disappearance, but when they checked it again more thoroughly in 2015, they found bloodstains beneath the fabric of the passenger seat.
They downloaded the contents of Kroupa’s and Golyar’s phones for their investigation, and digital forensics discovered something odd. Golyar’s device showed evidence that she had photos of Farver’s car, 20 to 30 fake email accounts, and an app that allowed her to schedule text messages to be sent at a future time.
The detectives zeroed in on Golyar, and when she suspected that they might be onto her, she told them that she thought Kroupa’s ex-girlfriend Amy Flora had killed Farver and had been the one harassing them all along.
Shortly after that very conversation, Golyar called 911 from Big Lake Park in Council Bluffs saying Flora had shot her in the leg. Unbeknownst to her, Flora had a solid alibi. Golyar’s story began to unravel, but the final nail in the coffin came when detectives searched her tablet.
On the SD card, police found thousands of deleted images — including one of Cari Farver’s decomposing body.
Golyar had stabbed Farver to death in her own car on or around Nov. 13, 2012. She then spent three years sending 15,000 emails and up to 50,000 text messages posing as Farver to cover her deadly crime. She even burned down her own house, killed her pets, and shot herself in the leg to carry out her lies.
In 2017, Liz Golyar was convicted of first-degree murder and second-degree arson. She was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Dave Kroupa was left stunned by how the investigation unfolded. He said of the ordeal, “I want Liz to go away and never do this to anybody again. Nancy [Raney] and Cari’s son were foremost… in my mind… They’re, unfortunately, the ones that have to live with the repercussions.”
Now that you’ve read about the murder of Cari Farver, learn about the case of Teresita Basa, the woman whose “ghost” may have solved her own murder. Then, go inside the story of Christina Whittaker, the Missouri mom who vanished without a trace.