OH OH - Margaret Durant, 21, Columbus, 10 Dec 1987

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by MURDERER_SERVANT, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. MURDERER_SERVANT

    MURDERER_SERVANT Member

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    Margaret Cecelia Durant Unsolved homicide



    Case number: 59
    Incident location: Burrell Avenue and Higgs Avenue
    Grandview Heights, Ohio - Franklin County
    Incident date: 12/10/1987 - 12/11/1987 (Approximate)
    Homicide date: Unknown
    Date of birth: 10/25/1966
    Gender: Female
    Race/Ethnicity: White
    Height: 5'3"
    Weight: 101
    Hair color: Blonde
    Eye color: Blue
    Law enforcement agency: Grandview Heights Police Department / Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation

    DETAILS

    On Friday, December 11th, 1987, at approximately 10:15 A.M., 21-year old Margaret Durant's body was discovered in a vacant lot at Higgs and Burrell Avenues in Grandview Heights, Ohio. Ms. Durant was last seen on December 10th, 1987 at 11:30 P.M, leaving her place of employment at the Limited Distribution Center on Morris Road in Columbus, Ohio. The Franklin County Coroner determined that Ms. Durant had died from cardiopulmonary arrest as a result of strangulation. Although several leads have been received and investigated, Ms. Durant's homicide still remains unsolved. Anyone having information on Ms. Durant's death is encouraged to contact the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446) or the Grandview Heights Police Department at (614) 488-7901.

    SUBMIT A TIP

    http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Law-Enforcement/Investigator/Cold-Case/Homicides/Durant
     

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  3. MURDERER_SERVANT

    MURDERER_SERVANT Member

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    GRANDVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio - A young woman murdered nearly 30 years ago. Now, Margaret Durant's death is getting new attention.

    http://www.10tv.com/content/stories...enewing-probe-into-1987-cold-case-murder.html

    Margaret’s brother Fred remembers his sister as someone who loved children and loved visiting her nephew. She even had dreams of having kids of her own someday.

    Speaking through tears, Fred still remembers that cold December day when gas workers found his big sister's body in an empty field in Grandview heights.

    It was 1987. Margaret Durant was only 21-years-old. She was found strangled and was not identified for days.

    Fred was a senior in high school when he got the news. “I was sitting in school, got called to the office, and my family was there. (I) was told that my sister passed away and was killed.”

    Less than a week later, authorities found Margaret’s faded blue mustang just a few miles east. But evidence from the car soon became cold and leads disappeared as the years dragged on.

    Now, the Grandview Heights police department is taking a new look at Margaret’s murder case and resubmitting old evidence to the state crime lab, hoping advances in DNA will heat the case back up.

    For Margaret’s family, it also means re-opening emotions that run deep.

    “It's just been hard over the years. She hasn't been there for the holidays, for our birthdays, birth of our children,” Fred mourns.

    “The hardest part is that her life was robbed from her when someone got to live their life.”
     

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  4. MURDERER_SERVANT

    MURDERER_SERVANT Member

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    Let's hope that Margaret Durant's murderer will finally be brought to justice and the family may have some closure .. Somebody has to know something.. If anyone knows anything please contact :
    Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446) or the Grandview Heights Police Department at (614) 488-7901.

    Below is her sisters' comment on FB coldcase page..

    https://www.facebook.com/GrandviewHeightsohColdCaseFiles

    My sister, Margaret Durant was murdered on or around December 10, 1987. She was raped and strangled and her body dumped just 2 blocks from her apartment and her car then dumped in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Her boyfriend's dad took out a life insurance policy on her for $100,000 and made himself the beneficiary. Her murderer has never been brought to justice.
     
  5. nerosleuth

    nerosleuth Active Member

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    Her place of employment is actually on Morse Road, not Morris Road.
     
  6. ufoboy72

    ufoboy72 New Member

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    Were they investigated? Where was the car found?
     
  7. sweetcherries

    sweetcherries New Member

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    I will have to go back and read the thread on a lady and her nephew that were killed , the woman had a blue mustang. Just noting that and death is same = strangulation.
     
  8. nerosleuth

    nerosleuth Active Member

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    Thank you Sweetcherries for pointing out this important fact out in the Margaret Cecelia Durant case to me.

    The case of the lady and the nephew that you are talking about is the November 1980 murder of Lynn Vest and her nephew Jeremy Pickens.

    Here is the websleuths thread for Lynn Vest and Jeremy Pickens:


    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sh...-23-Jeremy-Pickens-2-%BD-Columbus-Ohio-12-Nov
     
  9. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Thanks, sweetcherries. Nice catch. That's why it's helpful to add vehicle descriptions as tags. It looks like nero had added "blue mustang" as a tag in this thread. Now I've added the same tag to the Lynn Vest thread. So far, those are the only two cases with that tag, but you never know.
     
  10. nerosleuth

    nerosleuth Active Member

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    I recently visited the public library at looked at Columbus newspaper articles on microfilm from the late 1980’s about the Margaret Cecelia Durant homicide.

    Here’s what the Columbus newspaper articles reported during the late 1980’s about the homicides of Margaret Cecelia Durant.


    Columbus Dispatch Saturday December 12, 1987

    Body Discovered In Field

    The body of an unidentified young woman, believed to be 15 to 20 years old, was found by two utility workers yesterday morning in a small field in an industrial park in Grandview Heights.

    The body showed no visible wounds or other signs of violence and carried no identification.

    The body was discovered about 10:20 a.m. by two Columbia Gas Company workers in a field near Higgs and Burrell Avenue in Grandview Heights.

    Witnesses said that the young woman had light brown hair about 8 inches long and was lying on her back in 2-foot-high weeds about 6 feet from Burrell Avenue. They said she was wearing a bright red sweater and no coat, and her jeans were pulled down to her knees.

    Police said that they believed the body was dumped in the field Thursday.


    Columbus Dispatch Sunday December 13, 1987

    Identity Of Body Sought

    Grandview Heights Police are trying to identify a woman in her early 20s who was strangled and whose body was found by two Columbia Gas Company employees in a field near Higgs and Burrell Avenues. Police believe the body was dumped there Thursday.

    The victim was described by police as white, 5-foot-5 and 97 pounds with shoulder length brown hair and blue-gray eyes. Police said she was wearing a waist-length black leather jacket, red sweater, pink-and-white striped blouse, blue jeans, red socks and leather tennis shoes.


    Columbus Dispatch Tuesday December 15, 1987

    Victim’s Identity Pursued

    Grandview Heights Police said that they had tentatively identified a woman found strangled in a field Friday.

    An acquaintance of the victim who saw the description in news media accounts called police yesterday.

    Detectives were attempting to notify the woman’s relatives for positive identification.

    Two Columbia Gas Company employees found the woman’s body in a field in an industrial park near Higgs and Burrell Avenues Friday morning. Police believe the body was left there sometime Thursday.

    The victim, in her early 20’s, was described by police as white, 5-foot-5 and 97 pounds with shoulder length brown hair and blue-gray eyes.


    Columbus Dispatch Wednesday December 16, 1987

    Slaying Victim Named, North Side Man Identifies Body As Daughter’s

    The woman whose body was found strangled in a field near Higgs and Burrell Avenue in Grandview Heights was identified as Margaret Durant.

    Margaret Durant lived in an apartment on North High Street near Ohio State University. She had been employed part time at the Limited warehouse on Morse Road.

    Police said that Margaret Durant had been strangled and may have been sexually abused. She had been wearing a black leather jacket, borrowed from a boyfriend, and a bright red sweater. Her jeans were pulled down to her knees.

    Durant’s apartment door had been found unlocked and partially ajar. Police say it indicated that she might have been taken there by force.

    Margaret Durant’s father said that his daughter never left her apartment door unlocked. He also said that he last talked to his daughter on the phone on Tuesday December 8.

    Her boyfriend is the last person known to have seen Miss Durant alive Wednesday December 9. He contacted police Monday night December 14 when he could not find her.

    Margaret Durant’s father said that his daughter graduated from vocational school in the law enforcement field. His daughter worked a brief stint as a security guard at a department store prior to employment at the Limited. He said that his daughter hoped to enroll at Ohio State University and study law enforcement.

    Margaret Durant’s father also said that his daughter was a fan of Barry Manilow and that she had planned to attend a Barry Manilow Saturday in the Ohio Center with a girlfriend.

    Police found two concert tickets to a Barry Manilow concert on Margaret Durant’s bedroom dresser.



    Columbus Dispatch Thursday December 17, 1987

    Police Looking For Dead Woman’s Car

    Grandview Heights Police are searching for a 1979 Ford Mustang owned by a North side woman whose body was found in a Grandview Heights field on Friday.

    The two-door car is described as light blue.

    Police said that Durant died of suffocation.

    Police are trying to determine Durant’s whereabouts before her slaying and are interviewing relatives and neighbors.



    Columbus Dispatch Friday December 18, 1987

    Slaying Victim’s Car Found

    The car of slaying victim Margaret Durant was found illegally parked in a loading zone on North 4th Street yesterday and has been impounded as evidence.

    A Grandview detective said that Durant’s light blue Ford Mustang was recovered on North 4th Street just south of East 6th Avenue at about 8:30 a.m. The car had no damage.



    Tri Village News Wednesday December 23, 1987

    Police Investigate Slaying Of Woman

    The body of Margaret Durant was found at approximately 10:20 a.m. on Friday December 11 by two Columbia Gas Company employees in a field near Higgs and Burrell Avenues in Grandview Heights.

    Police believed that Margaret Durant was killed elsewhere. Durant was wearing black leather jacket and blue jeans. Her jeans were unzipped but police had no evidence of sexual assault. Marks were found around her throat. Police said that the victim had no purse or identification when the body was found.

    The coroner estimated the time of death 8 to 10 hours before the body was discovered, or between 12:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Friday December 11.

    Those who work in the area of Higgs and Burrell Avenues said that Durant’s car was first seen there at 8:00 a.m. on Friday December 11, about two hours before the body was discovered.

    Margaret Durant’s car, a light blue Ford Mustang, was found on December 17 at the corner of North 4th Street and East 6th Avenue parked in a loading zone. The car was locked and the keys were missing. Her car was found about a third of a mile from her North High Street apartment.

    Police think that the victim left her car at where it was found at on North 4th Street and East 6th Avenue. Everything inside the car was neat and her clothes were folded.

    Police have determined that Margaret Durant visited an auto parts store before going to work on Thursday December 10. Durant was employed part time at the Limited warehouse on Morse Road.

    Police don’t think Margaret Durant was killed at her apartment or at where her body was found. There were no signs of disarray in the weeds or signs of a struggle. Police believe her body was placed there.

    The body was listed a Jane Doe until the evening of Monday December 14 when the victim’s former boyfriend walked into the Grandview Heights Police Headquarters and identified her from a photograph.

    The former boyfriend had been trying to contact Margaret Durant for a couple of days. He went to her apartment on Sunday December 13 looking for her. He found two concert tickets for a Saturday December 12 Barry Manilow concert unused and lying on a shelf. He noticed her car was missing. After hearing the description of a Jane Doe in the news media, he went to Grandview Heights Police.

    Margaret Durant’s father, brother, and sister-in-law went with police to the morgue and identified Durant’s body.


    Columbus Dispatch Monday January 25, 1988

    Police Seek Help In December Slaying

    Grandview Heights Police are seeking help in solving the slaying of a North Side woman in December. It has been designated Crime of the Week in the Crime Solvers Anonymous program.

    Police said that the body of Margaret Durant was found at about 10 a.m. in a vacant lot near Burrell and Higgs Avenue in Grandview. The body was clad in a black jacket, a bright red sweater, and blue jeans.

    The Franklin County coroner’s office ruled the woman had been strangled and estimated she had been dead about 6 hours before her body was found. She was not identified until December 14.

    Durant was last seen December 10 as she left work at the Limited distribution center near Morse Road and Interstate 270. Her car, a 1979 faded blue Ford Mustang hatchback, was found December 17 on North 4th Street near East 6th Avenue.


    Columbus Dispatch Saturday April 23, 1988

    Warrant Seeks Suspect’s Blood

    Grandview Heights Police are using a search warrant to try to obtain a blood sample from a suspect in the slaying of a 21 year old North Side woman.

    The man, who has not been charged with a crime, refused to allow blood to be taken on advice of his attorney.

    The Franklin County Prosecutor said that the case could set a statewide precedent for whether bodily fluids could be taken from a person who has not been charged with a crime or is not in custody. The prosecutor believes the sample can be obtained legally with a search warrant, which a municipal court judge granted on Tuesday.

    Police want to send a sample of the man’s blood to a Lifecodes, a New York genetic laboratory specializing in DNA identification. Police believe the new biological test may further link the man to Margaret Durant, who was found strangled in a field at Higgs and Burrell Avenues on December 11.

    Semen taken from Durant, who either had sex or was raped before she died, has already been sent to Lifecodes for a DNA test. Grandview Heights police want a blood sample from the man to see if his DNA matches that found in the semen.

    The prosecutor said if the suspect does not comply with the warrant, he would seek a court hearing to see if the sample can be forced.

    The suspect’s attorney said that his client was not afraid of the test results, but taking blood from someone who has not been charged with a crime is a violation of the person’s rights.

    Grandview Heights Police believed that by linking the suspect to Durant sexually and reviewing how close to the time of death the sexual encounter occurred, they could build a case strong enough to charge the man.



    Columbus Dispatch Monday February 19, 1990

    Grandview Seeking Help In ’87 Homicide Case

    Grandview Heights Police have reopened a 2 year old homicide case involving a North Side woman and are seeking help from the public in solving the crime.

    The slaying has been designated Crime of the Week in the Crime Solvers Anonymous program.

    The body of Margaret Durant was found about 10 a.m. December 11, 1987, by two Columbia Gas of Ohio employees in a vacant lot near Burrell and Higgs Avenues in Grandview Heights.

    Durant had been strangled and the coroner’s office estimated she had been dead six hours.

    Margaret Durant was left seen alive late on the evening of December 10 as she left work at the Limited distribution center near Morse Road and Interstate 270 on the city’s far Northeast Side. Her car, a faded blue 1979 Ford Mustang hatchback, was found six days later on North 4th Street near East 6th Avenue.

    No charges have been made in the case.
     
  11. JanetElaine

    JanetElaine Well-Known Member

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    A few things I'm wondering:

    - when did the former boyfriend hear the news reports about a Jane Doe? (How long did he wait to go to the police after he heard about Jane Doe?)
    - the history of the Ford Mustang... could it be the same car (as in the actual same vehicle) Lynn Vest owned? What happened to Vest's car after her murder?

    And of course: whatever happened to the suspect and the blood test?
     
  12. nerosleuth

    nerosleuth Active Member

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    We now know that Lynn Vest and Margaret Durant both owned a 1979 Ford Mustang.

    I'm thinking that there were two versions of the 1979 Ford Mustang.

    The first version would be the Cobra, and I'm thinking that the Cobra was the sports car or muscle car version of the 1979 Ford Mustang model.

    The second version would be the regular version of the 1979 Ford Mustang model that isn't a sports or muscle car.

    I don't know which version of the 1979 Ford Mustang model that Margaret Durant drove. I'm guessing that she probably drove the regular version.

    I don't know what happened to Lynn Vest's car after the murder, but she drove the sports or muscle car version of the 1979 Ford Mustang model.

    A few things I'm also wondering about the former boyfriend.

    When he went to the apartment, was the apartment door ajar or unlocked?

    Did he have duplicate keys to her apartment?

    The newspaper article never did say who the suspect was that detectives were trying to obtain a blood sample from.

    And it didn't have any follow up articles as to whether detectives were able to get a blood sample from the suspect or if the suspect had been cleared.
     
  13. nerosleuth

    nerosleuth Active Member

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    Margaret Durant and Lynn Vest share the following similarities. Both women drove a blue 1979 Ford Mustang and both were strangled.

    I was recently thinking of another possibility as to how the murders of Margaret Durant and Lynn Vest could be connected.

    Here’s what caught my attention. I happened to notice that Lynn Vest’s husband worked at an air freight facility (such as today’s FedEx or UPS) and Margaret Durant worked at a catalog distribution center warehouse.

    Now think of the job positions that are similar if one worked at an air freight facility or catalog distribution center warehouse. Both would involve handling packages and shipping packages.

    Here’s what I’m thinking. Could it be possible that Margaret Durant and Lynn Vest were murdered by the same killer or killers?

    There could be the possibility that at the time when both women were murdered, their killer or killers could have worked at the same places where Lynn Vest’s husband and where Margaret Durant worked at.
     

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