Stalking 'the devil'
Perhaps thinking that Ed Thomas had temporarily moved to Aplington due to tornado damage, Becker's first stop was at the home of Janice Stahl. Stahl recalled a young man asking if Ed Thomas lived in the home. No, Stahl told him, and Becker left.
Becker's next encounter was with Brian Buseman, another social studies teacher in the district, who was jogging when Becker pulled up next to him on the road. Becker asked Buseman if he knew where Coach Thomas was. Thinking nothing unusual as people often looked for Thomas to help with tornado relief work, Buseman offered that he might be teaching driver's ed at the elementary school.
A-P Elementary was all but deserted on this summer morning. Becker found custodian Susan Myers in the cafeteria kitchen. She sent him to another custodian Craig Kalkwarf, who was polishing hallway floors. Becker would later tell police that he stopped back at his car to stash his gun before going to find Kalkwarf.
Becker found Kalkwarf in a hallway and asked him about Thomas' whereabouts. Kalkwarf had known Mark Becker his whole life, and didn't think twice when Becker said he wanted to help Thomas with some rebuilding work. Kalkwarf made a phone call and found out that Coach Thomas was in the A-P weight room. Becker and Kalkwarf made some small talk about the shiny elementary school floors before Becker drove away. Kalkwarf had no idea what he had just done.