Metro Detroit’s Biggest Unsolved Crimes

By Lori Melton

Per FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) 2012 nationwide statistics, only 46.8 percent of violent crimes were cleared and 62.5 percent of murder cases were cleared. This leaves a large percent of violent crime and murder cases unsolved across the country in just that year alone. Sadly, many unsolved crimes haunt victims’ families and law enforcement officials for years.

Here’s a look at three of Metro Detroit’s biggest unsolved crimes: The Oakland County Killer, the disappearance of Farmington Hills resident Danielle Stislicki and the disappearance of Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa.

The Oakland County Killer

A string of serial killings rocked Oakland County for 13 months from 1976 to 1977. Four children were abducted, held for a period of days, then killed and their bodies were dumped by the side of the road. The victims ranged in age from 10 to 12 years old.

The first two victims, Mark Stebbins of Ferndale and Jill Robinson of Royal Oak, were killed 10 months apart in 1976. Kristine Mihelich, 10, was last seen at a 7-Eleven in Berkley on Jan. 2, 1977 and her body was discovered 19 days later by a mail carrier on a dead-end street in Franklin. The fourth victim, Timmy King, 11, never returned after skateboarding to a drugstore in Birmingham on March 16, 1977. His body was discovered six days later in Livonia.

Three of the children were suffocated and one was shot, per a Hometown Life report. Autopsies indicated both boys were sexually assaulted. These horrific murders remain unsolved more than 40 years later. Barry King, Timmy King’s father started a blog and a Facebook page in hopes of filling in missing links in the crimes.

Where is Danielle Stislicki?

Danielle Stislicki was last seen leaving her job at MetLife in Southfield on Dec. 2, 2016. The 28-year-old Farmington Hills woman was supposed to meet a close friend for dinner that night and never showed up.

Per a Troy Patch report two weeks after she disappeared, police found her purse, containing her ID and credit cards locked inside her Jeep Renegade outside of her apartment. Her rose-colored Samsung Galaxy cell phone and key chain with a yellow smiley face were missing.

May 2 marked five months since Danielle Stislicki’s disappearance. The case is still actively being pursued by police but remains unsolved. A Facebook page has been established for the crime and a reward is being offered. Stislicki is one of thousands of Michigan residents who are currently missing.

What Happened to Jimmy Hoffa?

The disappearance of Teamsters Union President James R. Hoffa in July 1975 made nationwide news. He was last seen outside a restaurant in Detroit. His disappearance remains one of the most speculated unsolved crimes in history. Through the years, several tips have led to digs looking for Hoffa’s remains which didn’t pan out. There was even a claim his body was buried in the end zone of Giants Stadium.

A couple of people confessed to killing Hoffa. Per a Star Tribune report, one was a Texas prisoner named Henry Lee Lucas, who said he killed over 600 people, including Hoffa. He later recanted his confession. Another was Frank Sheeran aka “The Irishman.”

Per a Fox News report, Sheeran, who was president local 326 in Wilmington, Delaware, said he drove Hoffa to a house near the restaurant and shot him twice in the back of the head, in fulfillment of a mafia order to kill him. Sheeran’s former lawyer, Charles Brandt, details the story in the book “I Hear You Paint Houses: Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran And Closing the Case On Jimmy Hoffa.”

Blood was found under the floorboards of the house Sheeran describes. However, a DNA match positively linking it to Jimmy Hoffa was not possible because 29 years had passed and exposure to air and other elements under the homeowner’s floors degraded the sample.

Thus, Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance has remained a notorious unsolved missing persons case for almost 40 years.

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