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 parents 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 didnt leave a note concerning his whereabouts. 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 Klitchs description playing tennis by himself that afternoon. The tennis courts were across the street from the high rise apartments. Michaels 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 Michaels mother and his siblings arrived at the tennis courts to pick him up. After waiting on her son at the empty tennis courts, Michaels mother then drove and dropped his siblings off at the Grandview Swimming Club before attending a school board meeting that afternoon. Michaels mother was a member of the Grandview Heights school board. After returning home from the school board meeting, Michaels mother had expected to find her son home. But the youth hadnt 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. Michaels parents contacted police that evening when he didnt return home. One of Michaels tennis balls was found at the tennis court four feet from the gate. The tennis ball was an unusual brand that the youths father had brought for his son. Michaels 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 didnt 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 youths 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 youths 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 youths 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 Klitchs 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 youths 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 didnt find any evidence of struggle by the victim, but couldnt 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.