MI MI - Jane Steinhebel, 21, Detroit, 23 May 1972

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by SuzyLee, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. SuzyLee

    SuzyLee New Member

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    About a year and a half ago, I was reading the obituaries in the Detroit Free Press, when I saw this. Since then, I've been preoccupied with it. I've only found her death and marriage certificate, and the original 1972 obit. She drove into her garage one night, and was shot to death. I can't figure out how this case couldn't be solved....Who would be in her garage, where she lived with her husband, at midnight, ready for her to come home? I can't find what high school she went to (I've called Detroit Public Schools and they can't find her records), so I can't find the people who placed this in the paper in the first place. I've called the funeral home, the medical examiner who signed off on the death certificate, the place she worked, and even wrote her brother, who couldn't even bear to speak with me about it (I spoke to his wife). I'm desperate, and I hope that someone can give me a new idea here. I can't give up!
     
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  3. HockeyGirl

    HockeyGirl New Member

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    SuzyLee, I did a search on Ancestry.com, and could not find anything other than her death cert. Do you have any idea if she worked at that time, and if so where? Maybe a former coworker could help. Most libraries here will carry old yearbooks from local schools including private schools and Catholic schools, maybe Michigan does the same?
     
  4. SuzyLee

    SuzyLee New Member

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    First, thank you so much for replying! Now, the death cert says she worked as a bookkeeper at a place called Central Transport. I've called, and gotten absolutely nowhere! It seems they have many different "branches," and I think this contributes to the confusion. As for the yearbook idea, I never thought of that! It's frustrating because I can't go to various schools and flip through the yearbook, since the neighborhood she grew up in is not as safe as I would like. Another oddity about the case is that, on her death cert her mother's name is listed "Janina," her mother's name on her marriage cert is "Jennie Morawska," and her brother's name is Eric Prokopek (spelled "Brokopek" in the obituary)!
     
  5. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    What neighborhood did she grow up in?

    The names sound like a Polish family. Maybe her mother altered her name to make it sound more "American"?
     
  6. SuzyLee

    SuzyLee New Member

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    19734 Audover in 1970, 7172 Nevada in 1972. She's buried at Mt. Olivet, and my best friend's mother called there once (for her father), and was told not to come, since people were being mugged on their way in. I searched Prokopek, and yes, definitely Polish. I just emailed a few alumni of private schools around the area, hopefully that gives me something. I know if I found her high school, I could find people who knew her, and hopefully the people who still care enough to put that in the paper. I bet they would have a few theories of their own! ETA: Her maiden name was Grant.
     
  7. blue_the_puppy

    blue_the_puppy Member

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    suzy, if this is a polish family chances are high that she went to a catholic school. something to keep in mind is that a LOT of the catholic schools that were in detroit back in the day are now long gone. so i hope you are able to find alumni from the closed schools as well. best of luck, what a strange case!

    are you on facebook? there are a lot of alumni groups on there.

    http://www.facebook.com/search/?q=c...tholic detroit&o=69&sid=2226233.1541336988..1
     
  8. blue_the_puppy

    blue_the_puppy Member

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    also, a quick search on facebook for steinhebel brings up a few results from michigan. since it's not a very common surname, can we assume these are relatives of her husband (or her husband himself)?

    not sure whether would be a good idea to contact these people, and bring back bad memories, but it's something .. :waitasec:
     
  9. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Have you spoken with police about this case? How do they view the matter? Do they consider it an open and active case or a Cold one?

    Have you asked the cemetery, funeral home or Medical examiner for a copy of the autopsy or coroners report? Sometimes it exists in one of those places.
     
  10. Boyz_Mum

    Boyz_Mum New Member

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    You can check Osborn High School (public school in the area of the Nevada address), I can't find Audover on mapquest. My friend thinks it could have been a street near Nevada, but was young when they lived in that area, so isn't sure about the memory.
     
  11. SuzyLee

    SuzyLee New Member

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    I'm so happy to see these responses, this is incredible!

    I've checked Steihnebel on myspace and facebook, and I think I've seen her husband's family. I also just found out that his current wife graduated from Osborn in 1973, so seeing you suggest it, Boyz_Mum, is a great. I'm trying to figure out if it looks like she's wearing a uniform in that picture, since I assume it's a yearbook. I wanted to contact Nelson (her husband), but after speaking with her sister-in-law, she told me that Jane stopped speaking with her brother after her wedding, and the only witnesses were in Nelson's family. It just seems sad that she cut herself off from her family for this man, and I don't want to step on any toes by speaking with him. The police gave me a standard answer, this case is still open so they won't tell me anything. I've called a few times, and emailed, but they haven't responded. I understand it's Detroit and they have many, many more active cases to solve, but wouldn't bullets recovered from her be great evidence? I wish I could get my hands on a case file! Also, my mom knows someone who works for the ME's office in Wayne County, so I'm going to see if he can get me a copy of the autopsy.
     
  12. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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  13. blue_the_puppy

    blue_the_puppy Member

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    perhaps its supposed to be andover street; there is an andover street just west of i-75.
     
  14. SuzyLee

    SuzyLee New Member

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    Yes, I think it's a typo on the marriage license, since it's about 15 minutes from there to Nevada. I've been emailing Osborn High grads, but have gotten a few "no's" already. I'm still waiting on responses from some Catholic school alumni around the area. They married at the SS. Cyril and Methodius, if that means anything special to someone. It kind of creeps me out, thinking that her husband ended up marrying a girl who went to school nearby at the time of her murder. Maybe it's just me, though.
     
  15. Boyz_Mum

    Boyz_Mum New Member

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    I did check Andover St. According to mapquest, the trip from Andover to Nevada is about 13 miles.

    My friend was young when living in the area of Nevada, so he could be wrong about Audover being a street (near Nevada). He did say Osborn High School, and it's in the area, on 7 Mile. He lived a couple of blocks away from Nevada until the late 70's, when "the neighborhood went downhill and it wasn't that great before that." (His words, not mine and his folks chose to move.)
     
  16. Boyz_Mum

    Boyz_Mum New Member

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    Did you check Classmates.com? (There could be too much personal info required? I'm not too good on the net.)

    I am not sure of the "SS" "Cyril and Methodius"- When I do a search, the first result is a "Slovak Catholic Church" in Sterling Heights MI. Is that accurate to what you've researched? (My friend is not familiar with that particular church.)
     
  17. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    According to the archdiocese website, SS. Cyril and Methodius is a parish. I can't get the pointers to work, but if you go to the archdiocese website and search, you'll find it. It focuses on the Polish community. The seminary is in Orchard Lake and the parish is in Stirling Heights. I don't know whether those are close to each other.

    The seminary's website is http://www.sscms.edu/index.asp. It's one of the "Orchard Lake Schools." The prep school is all-boys so I doubt if she went to high school there, but her husband might have. I found an alumni association for an associated school, St. Mary's College: http://www.saintmarys.edu/~alumnae/clubpages/MICHIGAN/detroit.html
    Don't know whether they could give you any help.
     
  18. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    SS=Saints
     
  19. blue_the_puppy

    blue_the_puppy Member

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    ss cyril and methodius used to be located in detroit, a few miles south of the corner of nevada & van dyke. the street it was on was actually renamed to st. cyril street, still called that today. the parish moved out to the 'burbs in the 70s and the original church was demolished in 2003.

    (completely off-topic, but if you can see pics of how the old church looked just before its demolition on: http://www.forgottendetroit.com/stcyrils/index.html. beware: it's depressing!)
     
  20. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    So they would have been married in the old church downtown, not that new one.
     
  21. SuzyLee

    SuzyLee New Member

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    When I searched for SS Cyril and Methodius, the Sterling Heights results popped up for me, as well. I called the number on that site, and I left a message. But, I'm sure that nobody there had a clue what I was calling for, and I never heard back. Some other things I haven't mentioned, when I spoke to her sister-in-law, I told her I was afraid to contact her former husband, and she told me, "I would be, too." That really stood out in my mind. Also, a friend suggested to me that it could be a random killing, since the neighborhood most certainly did go downhill from the late sixties onward. I checked the Detroit Free Press archives on microfilm and there were not articles about the murder, the only way I can make sense of that is that it was seen a lot? And here is her death certificate and death notice. blue_the_puppy, I love those photos, I can imagine that it would have been a wonderful place for a wedding, especially picturing her and her husband as two insanely in love teenagers. I just hope that's the way she felt, too.
     

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