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  1. #1
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    Jul 2013
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    MI - Janette Roberson, 27, Reed City, 19 Jan 1983

    On January 19, 1983, Janette Roberson was murdered in the small town of Reed City, Michigan. The case is still considered open with the Michigan State Police because homicide has no statute of limitations. This also means that there is very limited information that the police can provide to the family and the general public.

    Janette was married and the mother of two young children at the time of her murder. She worked in the basement of the Gambles Hardware Store which had been turned into a pet store. The pet store sold fish and some other small animals. The murder occurred between 1pm and 4pm on January 19, 1983.

    By posting here, I hope that someone remembers something. Janette was a daughter, mother, sister, aunt, animal lover and friend to many people. Just because the case is older doesn't mean that she should be forgotten. Her family has not forgotten her over the 30 years that this has not been solved.

    Detective Sgt. Lator of the Mount Pleasant Post (Michigan State Police) is assigned to Janette's case. Detective Sgt. Lator's contact information is: Mount Pleasant #63 3580 S. Isabella Rd. Mount Pleasant, Michigan 48858 Phone: (989) 773-5951 (information#) Fax: (989) 772-2854

    Thank you for reading this post. I hope that someday the police are able to solve her case. All it takes is just one person to call them and tell them what they know, heard, etc.
    Last edited by angelj; 07-05-2013 at 10:24 PM. Reason: Added she was also a sister.

  2. #2
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    I've found one article on this case so far. It's from 2010.

    At the time of the incident, few details were released. The murder happened in the basement of the Gambles store, now Reed City Hardware. It happened between 1 and 4 p.m. below the front door of the store. Although there were customers and other employees in the shop at the time, nobody heard anything. It was reported as a brutal slaying and possibly a sexual assault. Janette’s partially-clad body was found about 4 p.m. by another employee.
    Phil Rathbun was the Reed City police chief at the time.
    "There was some kind of hostility, in my opinion," Rathbun said. "It was not just passion. Someone was mad at her.
    http://www.cadillacnews.com/news_sto...issue=20100119
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  3. #3
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    That's awful. Was this an incident where the police had a main suspect but not enough evidence or they had no leads? Or do have they even released those details?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jafsell View Post
    That's awful. Was this an incident where the police had a main suspect but not enough evidence or they had no leads? Or do have they even released those details?
    From what I've read, there were no strong suspects. LE questioned one or two men, but nothing panned out.

    I was glad to see that Janette's sister has not given up. On Jan 19, a remembrance walk was held in Reed City. There is also a Facebook page, and some recent press.

    http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/stor...7#.UuxhWbQQNvk

    In the photo albums are images of a two page article published earlier this month with sketches of the suspect. If you scroll to the bottom and select "Open Photo Viewer", you can view the pages in full screen or use the magnifier to read them.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater


    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater
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    ; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"

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  5. #5
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    "Justice For Janette" Participants Seek Answers In Cold Case Murder


    http://www.9and10news.com/story/2787...ld-case-murder

  6. #6
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    Hope the walk generates some new leads in this case.

  7. #7
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    I wonder about her husband. He is mentioned but is he named? Who was her boss? Her co-workers? Who else was working that day? Had she seemed anxious about anything or anyone recently?

    Sent from my KFTHWI using Tapatalk
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  8. #8
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    Cold Case Spotlight

    Brutal Murder of Young Michigan Mother Janette Roberson Still Haunts Small Town

    When people talk about Janette Roberson, two things come to mind.

    There is her beauty, easily seen on the outside and easily apparent on the inside once you met the 27-year-old.

    Then, there is the talk about her horrific murder.

    It's a crime that now, more than 33 years later, remains unsolved.
    Eyes quickly looked to Janette's husband Alvin shortly after his wife was found dead. He'd reportedly been having an affair at the time, and it's been rumored he and Janette may have been talking about divorce.

    Shortly after Janette's murder, Alvin packed up his family and moved them back to Georgia. He would later marry the woman with whom he had been rumored to be having the affair. "I don't really blame them for leaving, really. I try to put myself in their shoes and that town is so small. People were talking," Carrie told Dateline.

    The idea Alvin had something to do with Janette's murder? The theory holds "no water," says Janette's sister, Lana. While her husband did not, Janette had adopted the Jehovah Witness faith. Her religious beliefs encouraged her to be devoted entirely to him.

    Alvin and the woman he was having the affair with, were later ruled out as suspects, according to authorities.

    One theory of the crime has stuck, mostly with those who knew Janette. They believe whoever killed her, did so in a moment of rage. From what they know about the crime scene and from Janette's autopsy, they believe the killer used objects available to him in that basement. It wasn't a carefully thought out crime, they say.

    "I believe someone was infatuated with her -- had a crush on her. My sister was very friendly and naïve, really," said Lana. "Whoever did this could have gone there to make a move and she rejected this person, and boom. That was all it took."
    It's been frustrating for Janette's sister, Lana.

    "Someone out there knows something. They need to finally come forward," she told Dateline. "The scary thing is the person who did this is out there somewhere. That's terrifying, because Janette was killed in a horrible way. What's stopping this person from doing it again? We need to get them off the streets."

    Lana has not spoken with Janette's children in years. She thinks her probe into their mother's murder has been painful for them.

    Carrie, who was close friends with Janette's daughter, Jennifer, continued to speak frequently to her childhood friend as they grew up. Until Carrie became heavily involved in the search for answers in Janette's murder. As with Lana, Carrie believes it isn't something Janette's children want brought up in their lives.

    "I don't know what they've been through. Having your mother taken away from you at that young an age cannot be an easy thing," said Carrie. "It's not my place to question them about it."

    Despite whatever challenges have come their way, the group pushes forward. They are planning the walk for the 34th anniversary of Janette's death in January. They're going to keep pushing forward in whatever way they can to find justice for Janette.



  9. #9
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    Cold Case: The Janette Roberson Story Part 1

    http://www.9and10news.com/story/3443...n-story-part-1

    “In broad daylight, basically, someone entered the store and killed Janette,” says Detective Sergeant John Forner, Michigan State Police.

    Forner adds, “It was a brutal murder.”

    The murder weapon was one or more different blunt objects noted in the original reports.

    “I don't believe it’s a stranger that happened to walk through town that day that did this. The injuries to her suggest there was a fit of rage during this incident,” explains Forner.
    “There were people that were in the store that day, most of which I believe have been identified,” says Forner. “There was at least one male subject that was never identified so there were sketches put out to the public at that time.”

    The mystery man has never turned up and investigators began to look at the people Janette knew best.

    “We always start in the inner circle of the victim, those closest to the victim and work outward. Alvin was a suspect at that time, the husband,” says Forner.

    Detectives learned Alvin and Janette planned to divorce, and even that he had a new girlfriend.

    But like the others, investigators eventually ruled Alvin out as a suspect.
    Fast forward to today, still no arrests and emerging tensions between police and the family.

    “The original people, the police officers messed up the crime scene. That's a big no no. Even I know better. It was like this was a joke. This was a human being. And it was my sister,” says Lana.

    Forner says, “There were too many hands, too many different agencies working the case. When you get too many hands into something, there's something that's going to be missed. It's important to make sure that we do our best. It's our job to get all the answers.”

  10. #10
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    Cold Case: The Janette Roberson Story Part 2

    http://www.9and10news.com/story/3444...n-story-part-2

    Now, a potential breakthrough in the 34-year-old murder. A state police cold case task force is promising a fresh look to figure out who killed Janette.

    “We want to provide some type of closure or justice for the victim and their family, but also the community,” says Detective Sergeant John Forner, Michigan State Police.

    Detectives are putting together binders full of background and ordering evidence collected at the time be resubmitted for new testing.

    “From items of clothing to items that may have been left behind by the person responsible,” says Forner. “Are there advancements in forensics that could help us on these old cases? Is there evidence that has never been submitted to the lab before?”

    Connie Swander, director of the Michigan State Police Forensic Laboratory in Grayling, adds, “Just because the evidence is old doesn't mean it's not useful anymore.”
    This technology could point the finger at a potential suspect and shine a light on the dusty, decades old mystery.

    “What keeps everybody here and really involved is solving these crimes,” says Swander. “When you find that one little thing, we're all just looking for that one little thing that might just make or break this case.”

    There are still problems. In the wrong conditions, crucial DNA could break down, the evidence may never link police to a suspect.

    “It weighs on you that you can't solve every case,” says Forner. “It brings a sense of urgency to us as far as being diligent in these cases.”

    Hoping for tips from the public, a deathbed confession or even a simple change of heart.

    “The passage of time can both help you and hurt you, for obvious reasons. People's memories fade as the years pass but, also as the years pass, allegiances can change,” explains Forner.




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