Social media and the internet have helped solve a Michigan-based disappearance dating back more than 30-years. 17-year old Carol Ann Cole of Kalamazoo vanished in 1980 shortly after leaving Michigan for Texas. For about as long, Louisiana authorities had been trying to identify the body of a young woman found in woods near Shreveport. Posts on Facebook and Craigslist, described as “happenstance”, helped bring together authorities and members of Cole’s family in February. It was six days after the Facebook page was launched.
Michigan has the second highest number of juvenile lifers in the U.S. Those are people who were sentenced to life in prison without parole before they turned 18. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sentencing laws mandating life without parole for juvenile offenders amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. Michigan was one of a few states not to apply that ruling retroactively. But now, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court could determine whether those juvenile lifers sentenced before 2012 will get a shot at release.
We’re halfway through December, and you’ve probably noticed retailers aren’t the only people competing for your cold, hard cash. ‘Tis the season for charitable organizations to ramp up their efforts to solicit donations. Most groups out there do represent worthy causes, but the holidays also tend to bring out the less-than-legitimate actors hoping to pull off the perfect scam.
The recent deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland have re-ignited the debate over whether police officers should be made to wear body cameras to record their interactions. Some law enforcement agencies around the country have been experimenting with the technology. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is expected to announce next month that all city police will soon wear body cameras. In Ingham County, sheriff’s deputies working at the city jail are already trying them out.
Activists refer to human trafficking as “modern day slavery,” wherein people, often young and often female, are subjected into work, prostitution or other dehumanizing behavior. Michigan will be strengthening efforts to combat human trafficking in 2015. Twenty-one new laws are scheduled to take effect on January first.
Lansing Police continue investigating a string of recent shootings. Over the course of eight days in August, the city logged nine shootings. Lansing Police Chief Michael Yankowski has referred to the shootings as an anomaly, especially since department data show double digit decreases in both violent crime and homicides from 2013 to this year.
Authorities have charged a man who is suspected in the shooting deaths of two people yesterday: one in Lansing Township and the other in East Lansing. Only about 15 minutes separated the attacks. The first took the life of a 35-year old man who worked at a Rite Aid pharmacy on East Saginaw Street near Frandor. The second killed another man at a nearby duplex on Coolidge Road in East Lansing.
Last December, some high tech grinches tried to steal Christmas for one major retailer. Computer hackers broke into the Target Corporation mainframe and downloaded some 40-million credit card numbers. The breach was executed despite the fact that Target had installed malware detection software months before.
Last week, the Lansing State Journal wrote about the case of a 21-year old mentally ill man named Kosgar Lado who falsely confessed under police interrogation to a murder that took place in Lansing last June.
Today on Current State: MSU plant biologist's expertise plays major role in criminal investigation; lead poisoning down in Detroit, but so is funding for lead cleanup; and iPad periodical developed by MSU journalism students.
After analyzing a dirt sample containing hints about the suspect's whereabouts when the crime occurred, researchers plan to recruit volunteers this summer to further the investigation in Ludington's forests.
A Michigan State University plant biology professor is playing a unique role in piecing together a tragic West Michigan crime. Dr. Frank Telewski is part of an effort to locate a Ludington infant who was abducted and likely killed by her father in 2011.
Telewski and other professionals have analyzed bits of plant material from the suspect’s shoes in an attempt to find the location of four-month-old’s remains. Using the findings, investigators plan to narrow the search this summer.
The latest edition of the Lansing City Pulse is out today and one of the main stories is quite an interesting one.
In the process of reporting what they thought would be a rather straightforward piece that intended to highlight some of the Lansing Police Department’s cold homicide cases, City Pulse reporters Rich Tupica and Steve Miller discovered that the LPD, unlike many other police departments across the country, does not have such a cold case list readily available. This surprised them, so they changed their story to find out why.
Twelve years after a tragic East Lansing crime went unpunished, Michigan elected officials want to reform a key law. Before the end of the year, Governor Rick Snyder is expected to sign “Brandon D’Annunzio’s Law.” The 24 year old was attacked in downtown East Lansing in 2000 and later died of his injuries. WKAR’s Mark Bashore spoke with the young man’s mother about her efforts to get the measure passed.
A news organization has found wide variations in the rates of drunken driving arrests among Michigan police agencies, with the hometowns of Michigan State University and the University of Michigan showing one of the sharpest contrasts.
A prominent Lansing clergyman is calling on an Ingham County judge to be lenient in his sentencing of a juvenile convicted of murder. The pastor and the teen’s mother say Charles T. Lewis, Jr. should not receive life without parole.