OH OH - Michael Klitch, 12, Grandview Heights, 28 June 1971

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by nerosleuth, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. nerosleuth

    nerosleuth Active Member

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    The school year had already ended a few weeks earlier. Like all other school age youths, twelve year old Michael Dean Klitch was enjoying his summer vacation participating in many summer outdoor activities.

    Michael Dean Klitch was very close to his family. The youth had always left notes concerning his whereabouts whenever he left his parent’s home.

    Michael Dean Klitch left his Cambridge Boulevard home in Marble Cliff at approximately 2:00 p.m. on Monday June 28, 1971 to practice tennis at the Grandview Heights municipal tennis courts at Goodale Boulevard & Urlin Avenue in Grandview Heights for an upcoming tennis tournament that he had recently entered.

    Earlier that day, the Michael Dean Klitch told his mother he was going to the tennis courts and asked his mother to pick him up at the tennis courts later that afternoon. When the youth left home that afternoon, he didn’t leave a note concerning his whereabouts.


    Michael Dean Klitch.jpg


    Michael Dean Klitch was wearing horn rimmed glasses, aqua pullover sweater with white stripes around the collar and sleeves, yellow tan shorts with knee length white socks and white tennis shoes with a black stripe when he left home.

    As Michael was walking by himself to the tennis courts, he stopped to talk with neighborhood children about 2:30 p.m. in front of the church near his home. It was the last time that Michael Dean Klitch was seen in his neighborhood by neighborhood children.

    A maid working at the luxury high rise Summit Chase apartments at Goodale Boulevard & Urlin Avenue told police that she saw a boy fitting Michael Dean Klitch’s description playing tennis by himself that afternoon. The tennis courts were across the street from the high rise apartments.

    Michael’s mother and two of his siblings arrived at the tennis courts at 3:30 p.m. to pick him up and take them swimming at the Grandview Swimming Club at 1350 West Goodale Boulevard.

    The tennis courts were empty and Michael Dean Klitch was nowhere to be seen when Michael’s mother and his siblings arrived at the tennis courts to pick him up.

    After waiting on her son at the empty tennis courts, Michael’s mother then drove and dropped his siblings off at the Grandview Swimming Club before attending a school board meeting that afternoon. Michael’s mother was a member of the Grandview Heights school board.

    After returning home from the school board meeting, Michael’s mother had expected to find her son home. But the youth hadn’t returned home. And none of his siblings had seen him return home.

    Michael played centerfield in a little league baseball team and he had an important baseball game that he was to have played that evening.

    Michael’s parents contacted police that evening when he didn’t return home.

    One of Michael’s tennis balls was found at the tennis court four feet from the gate. The tennis ball was an unusual brand that the youth’s father had brought for his son.

    Michael’s parents believed that their son must have left the tennis courts in a hurry as he would never leave his tennis balls lying there.

    Michael Dean Klitch was described by his parents as adventuresome, such as trying a double flip from the diving board at the pool, but he didn’t like new situations or new people.

    An extensive search was conducted by police and civilians for the missing youth. The wooded areas from Dublin Road & Grandview Avenue east towards Twin Rivers Drive and west towards West Fifth Avenue were searched.

    Penn Central Railroad Police were also informed about the youth’s disappearance as their railroad tracks were right behind the municipal tennis courts where Michael Dean Klitch was last seen.

    A five thousand dollar reward seeking information leading to the safe return of Michael Dean Klitch was offered by anonymous friends of the Klitch family.

    Almost two weeks after the youth’s disappearance, at about 7:45 p.m. on the evening of Sunday July 11, 1971, the body of Michael Dean Klitch was found inside an old wooden tool shack on a old dirt road two miles south of Cheshire and one fifth of a mile west of Africa Road and Plumb Road near Alum Creek in Delaware County.

    The remote area where the youth’s body was found was shrouded on both sides of the dirt road by thick thorny vines, small trees, and head high weeds.

    The body was found by two adult siblings who had went for an evening walk with their children along the dirt road to pick berries and to skip rocks at an old quarry pond. The adult siblings were visiting their parents who lived in the area near the crime scene.

    Michael Dean Klitch’s body was found badly charred and decomposed inside the old wooden tool shack. His eyeglasses, tennis racket, tennis shoes, and clothing that he wore on the day of his disappearance were found in an illegal trash dump near the tool shack.

    The shack was on land recently purchased but not yet transferred over to the federal government for the new Alum Creek Dam that was under construction about one and a half miles south of the murder scene.

    The remote area where the youth’s body was found in July 1971 is now Alum Creek Lake.

    An autopsy revealed that Michael Dean Klitch had been stabbed 26 times in the left chest by a butcher knife and he had been deceased for about two weeks prior to his body being found.

    The coroner didn’t find any evidence of struggle by the victim, but couldn’t determine if the victim had been molested due to the condition of the body.

    Authorities believe that Michael Dean Klitch was murdered at another location before his body was dumped inside the tool shack and set ablaze by his killer.

    No one has ever been arrested in connection with the abduction and murder of Michael Dean Klitch and the case remains unsolved to this day.


    Sources:

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

    The Columbus Citizen Journal and the Columbus Dispatch newspapers on microfilm at the public library.
     
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  3. AnaTeresa

    AnaTeresa New Member

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  4. nerosleuth

    nerosleuth Active Member

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    Grandview Heights.jpg


    Here’s a street map of Marble Cliff and Grandview Heights on the day Michael Dean Klitch disappeared.

    The purple dot on the map is the home of where Michael Dean Klitch lived at on Cambridge Boulevard in Marble Cliff.

    The red dot on the map is the municipal tennis courts at Goodale Boulevard and Urlin Avenue.

    The black dot on the map is the Summit Chase luxury high rise apartment across the street from the municipal tennis courts at Goodale Boulevard and Urlin Avenue.

    The blue dot on the map is the Grandview Swim Club at 1350 West Goodale Boulevard.

    The green line on the map is the possible walking route that Michael Dean Klitch may have taken when he went from his home to the municipal tennis courts.

    The yellow line on the map shows where the municipal tennis courts and the Grandview Swim Club are from each location. That is the driving route Michael’s mother would have took going from the municipal tennis courts to the Grandview Swim Club.

    I must point out that Interstate 70 and Interstate 670 did not exist in the west side of Columbus and outside of the Grandview Heights city limits back in 1971.

    Interstate 70 only went from the Indiana Ohio border to Interstate 270 on the far west side of Columbus and east of Downtown Columbus to the Ohio West Virginia border in 1971. It wasn’t until about 1975 that Interstate 70 opened from west of Downtown Columbus to Interstate 270 on the far west side of Columbus.

    It wasn’t until 2003 that Interstate 670 opened from west of Downtown Columbus to where it connects with Interstate 70 on the west side of Columbus.
     
  5. nerosleuth

    nerosleuth Active Member

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    Africa & Plumb Roads Delaware County.jpg


    Here’s a road map showing the approximate location where Michael Dean Klitch was found murdered in rural Delaware County, Ohio on the evening of July 11, 1971.

    The red dot on the map is the approximate location where the body of Michael Dean Klitch was found inside an old wooded tool shack.

    The yellow line on the map is the approximate location of the old dirt road near the intersections of Africa Road and Plumb Roads in southern Delaware County.

    As you can see from the Delaware County road map, the site where Michael Dean Klitch was found murdered is a few miles west of Interstate 71 in Delaware County.

    The location where Michael Dean Klitch was found murdered is underwater and now part of Alum Creek Lake.
     
  6. AnaTeresa

    AnaTeresa New Member

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    I was actually very near Africa/Plumb roads the other day to look at a house. Still fairly rural-ish, but quickly developing into suburbs or nice houses on a couple of acres. Even 10-15 years ago, it was still not very developed.

    I'd guess that whoever took Michael would have had to be somewhat familiar with the area, rather than a random dumping off of I-71.
     
  7. dogperson

    dogperson Member

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    How far is this location from where Richard William Griener went missing in January 1972? (Pekin IL) The mention of a nearby railroad track made me think of the other case.
     
  8. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Seems there's always a "nearby railroad track", doesn't it?

    The distance between Grandview Heights, OH, and Pekin, IL, is about 385 miles.

    https://www.google.com/maps?saddr=P...et9UI44iDF7AEqvhzv-gQ&oq=pekin&mra=ls&t=m&z=7[HR][/HR]FWIW, I posted this in Beau King's thread back in April.

    [​IMG]
    06.28.1971 - Michael Dean Klitch, 12, Galena, OH
    http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Law-Enforcement/Investigator/Cold-Case/Homicides/Klitch
     
  9. margarita25

    margarita25 Jessica Ridgeway. Never Forgotten.

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    Horrible and heartbreaking!! I am not good at cold cases, but I see Nero, Bessie and other good folks here who are. Thank you for keeping Michael's case alive, hope the perp(s) is apprehended!
     
  10. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    This victim would be more the right time of year for William "Freight Train" Guatney who gets mentioned for the Griener crime sometimes. I wonder if there were any fairs, circuses, carnivals or livestock shows around the area.
     
  11. margarita25

    margarita25 Jessica Ridgeway. Never Forgotten.

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  12. bflocket

    bflocket Well-Known Member

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    Not to give them any credit, but the killer was possibly smart enough to know that the place where they dumped Michael would be indefinitely underwater in the near future.
     
  13. mikkismom

    mikkismom Active Member

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  14. nerosleuth

    nerosleuth Active Member

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    I agree that it had to be someone who was quite familiar with that area.

    Africa & Plumb Roads was a very rural area with farm houses and farm fields back in 1971.

    The Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported that the area west of Africa Road had empty farm homes reduced to shells in preparation for that area becoming part of Alum Creek Lake.

    If you drove northbound on Interstate 71 back in 1971, the I-270 interchange (exit 119) was the last exit in North Columbus until you reached the first interchange in Delaware County which was the US 36/ SR 37 interchange (exit 131).

    You drove for 12 miles from the last exit in Columbus to the first exit in Delaware County on Interstate 71.

    I do remember that the Polaris Parkway and Gemini Place exits did not exist in southern Delaware County back in 1971.
     
  15. nerosleuth

    nerosleuth Active Member

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    As far as fairs were concerned, the Franklin County Fair in Hilliard took place around mid to late July.

    I remember that the Ohio State Fair used to be held during late August thru Labor Day back then.

    I don't know if there were any carnivals and circuses in the area during that time.

    The home where Michael Dean Klitch lived is less that half a mile from the area where Lola Celli lived and disappeared from Grandview Heights in February 1946.
     
  16. nerosleuth

    nerosleuth Active Member

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    At the time that Michael Dean Klitch left home on the afternoon of June 28, 1971, the temperature at 2:00 p.m. that afternoon was 93 degrees with a heat index of 96 degrees.


    http://www.wunderground.com/history...tml?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA


    That would explain why Michael was the only person at the tennis court that afternoon and why it was empty when his mother arrived to pick him up that afternoon.
     
  17. AnaTeresa

    AnaTeresa New Member

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    The Sells family had a circus. Their winter home was in Grandview, I believe. They disbanded in the early 1900s, I believe - or maybe absorbed by Ringling Bros. At any rate, Ringling Bros. comes every year and walks the elephants down the road in a parade where the Sells circus used to be. They might come more than once a year, but I don't pay too much attention. It would be interesting to see if the circus was in town then. I could see a boy easily being enticed to go see the elephants.
     
  18. Dreamnine

    Dreamnine New Member

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    Terribly sad case..
     
  19. dogperson

    dogperson Member

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    If this case and the Griener case are related then the killer may have traveled by train and be Guatney or someone like him. 300+ miles isn't far if you travel a lot by train. It could be that Griener's body was just better hidden than Klitch's and never found. However, it would be good if we had a train schedule timetable for both these locations at the time.
     
  20. nerosleuth

    nerosleuth Active Member

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    Here's a link about passenger rail service that existed in Columbus until the mid 1970's.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Station_(Columbus,_Ohio)


    In May 1971, Amtrak was the only passenger rail service in Columbus before passenger rail service went out of existence during the mid 1970's in Columbus.
     
  21. bflocket

    bflocket Well-Known Member

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    Since "missing boy" and "railroad tracks" seem to be a hot topic on this forum, I found a couple of MP's that went missing together from the next big town south of Columbus (Cincinnati). I-71 also goes through Cincinnati, though it wasn't complete through downtown when these boys went missing (1964). They are both white boys that are just a little younger than Klitch. It was also less than 10-yrs before his murder, so it could be related.


    John Hundley and James McQueary disappeared in 10/1964 near Fairfax, OH. They were walking to John's house from a local restaurant when last seen.
    One of the possibilities the police entertained was them running away by somehow getting on a freight train and riding away. It appears that there were tracks on the path they were taking and maybe some kind of station or at least a rail/rail intersection nearby.
    They were never seen again.

    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/h/hundley_johnny.html

    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/m/mcqueary_jimmy.html



    I also found a map of Ohio that shows the progress of the Interstates at the time (from 1965). Will try to attach a snip. Marked where they went missing with blue dot.

    Cincy 1965.JPG
     

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