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Thread: MI - Karen Lynn Oatley, age 14, deaf/mute girl abducted and murdered in Lansing, 1979

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    MI - Karen Lynn Oatley, age 14, deaf/mute girl abducted and murdered in Lansing, 1979

    I grew up in Lansing Michigan. Around July of 74 or 75, our young neighbor, a deaf and mute 11-12 year old girl named Karen Oatley was murdered. Her body was found in the woods behind Garner Junior High School, less then 1/2 mile from her house. The police questioned all the neighborhood boys to no avail. This murder went cold and now I can't find a single item about it. Was it solved? My mother and I went to her funeral but I was young and don't know or don't recall any more details. I am hoping someone here can fill in the blanks. Thanks,
    Todd.
    Last edited by ToddK; 02-01-2008 at 08:45 AM. Reason: spelling

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    I can't seem to find anything about this case. The Michigan Attorney General did set up a Cold Case unit a few years ago - perhaps you can contact someone and find out if this was solved. Here are a couple links:

    http://www.michigan.gov/ag/0,1607,7-...4931--,00.html

    http://www.michigan.gov/msp/

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  5. #3
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    Karen Oatley

    I have not been able to find any information about the death of Karen Oatley. It is possible that the case is one in the Jurisdiction of Lansing City Police or the Ingham County Sheriff.

    Here is a link to the Michigan State Police Official Website Cold Case section. Perhaps someone there could provide some answers...

    Michigan State Police Official Website

    LINK:

    http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,1607,7...000---,00.html

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  7. #4
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    Snufamonbobball is offline But O for the touch of the vanished hand & the sound of the voice that is still.
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    Google her name in the news archives and there are a few articles regarding the murder.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...n+oatley&hl=en

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...n+oatley&hl=en

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...n+oatley&hl=en

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...n+oatley&hl=en

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...n+oatley&hl=en

    I don't have enough time today to dig any deeper than the first few articles, but one of the articles says they gave a man a polygraph regarding the case. I didn't see anything off hand that said the murder was solved.
    The more I get to know some people, the more I like my cats!

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    A few facts...

    Snufamonbobball, Thanks for the links. They were helpful. Here are a few facts that I was able to pull out of one of the articles:

    Karen Lynn Oatley, age 14, was abducted and murdered in Lansing, Michigan on Sunday, 5 August 1979.

    Her body was found in woods near her home on the City's south side.

    The first link you list has an article about another girl who was abducted and still missing as of its writing. The article mentions that there were three abductions in three days in Michigan, Karen's being one of them. Not certain if any of those abductions/murders were ever solved.

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  11. #6
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    Karen Oatley

    Quote Originally Posted by ToddK View Post
    I grew up in Lansing Michigan. Around July of 74 or 75, our young neighbor, a deaf and mute 11-12 year old girl named Karen Oatley was murdered. Her body was found in the woods behind Garner Junior High School, less then 1/2 mile from her house. The police questioned all the neighborhood boys to no avail. This murder went cold and now I can't find a single item about it. Was it solved? My mother and I went to her funeral but I was young and don't know or don't recall any more details. I am hoping someone here can fill in the blanks. Thanks,
    Todd.


    Todd, my name is Lorie Miller, I was Lorie Peterson, lived on Washington Ave. and was a neighbor and very good friend of Karen's. You can contact me and I will tell you what I know, maybe. Are you still in Michigan? I'm now living in Texas. BTW she was not a deaf mute, she was born deaf but thru the years she began hearing without the help of hearing aids.

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  13. #7
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    karen oatley

    I too went to school at gardner with karen....it still bothers me that this never got solved especailly now that i have a 14yr old....anyone hear any updates?

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  15. #8
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    To those who have been wondering about Karen Oately who was murdered back in the 70's, I too have been wondering if that crime was ever solved. My mother was a teacher at Gardner Junior High when this happened therefore I too was aware and upset about this case. Earlier this year I contacted a Sergeant with the Lansing Police Department he told me that this crime was never solved. A number of months later I called the sergeant again and there were some new leads in the case! Of course he could not share any details of an open investigation but as I haven't talked to him in awhile I will call him again to see if it has been solved.

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    http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/i...-old-homicides

    On a warm summer evening in 1979, Karen Oatley went for a ride on her 10-speed bike. The 14-year-old, who was born almost deaf and wore a hearing aid, never came home. Her body was found a day later in a wooded area near what was then Gardner Junior High School. It was only a few blocks from her house. She had been strangled and her throat was slashed.

    Nearly 35 years later, her parents, Lee and Sandra Oatley, still don’t know who killed her. Or why. The case is one of 63 unsolved homicides in Lansing between 1963 and 2012, according to police records. A case is typically designated “cold” after one year if no charges are filed...

    Last year, at the urging of Mayor Virg Bernero, the department assigned a detective to handle cold cases. It’s the first time the department has done that. The goal, said Police Chief Mike Yankowksi, is to “bring peace to the families and friends of those tragically killed.”

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