Charges issued in murder of Tanisha Colton - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Charges issued in murder of Tanisha Colton

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(04/19/13) - Charges have been issued in the March murder of 27-year-old Tanisha Colton.

The Flint mother of three was reported missing from Flint March 17.  Her body was found near the Michigan-Ohio border March 25.

Colton was last seen, March 13, leaving her job in Flint Township with her boyfriend Henry Conner.

Nearly one month after her body was found, in a Monroe County ditch, Conner has been charged.

Conner, 28, has been in jail, on a child support warrant, since shortly after Colton was reported missing.  Police believe Colton fathered all three of her children.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton detailed the case against him, at a news conference Friday morning, and went through the timeline that got police and prosecutors to the charges issued.

Conner has been charged with first degree premeditated murder, identify theft, two counts of using a financial transaction device without consent, interfering with electronic communications, three counts of fourth degree child abuse and removing a dead body without the medical examiner's permission. 

"I suspected all the time it was him," said Colton's grandmother Ida Nappier.  "No doubt about it."

Colton's family has said, from the start, he was abusive.

Police and prosecutors also suspected Conner, but need to prove he was the one who murdered Colton. 

Investigators knew Colton and Conner left her job together, in Flint Township, March 13.

"All of that is on video," said Leyton.

They also could tell she was agitated.

At home in Flint, with the children there, they argued, Leyton says, about him breaking her cell phone.  At some point, there was a phone call.

"The subject of that phone call, we believe, is that she had made a complaint that Henry Conner was sexually abusing a child," Leyton said.  "We believe Tanisha had made a complaint to DHS/CPS that he had done something unspeakable and we believe he knew she had made that complaint and we believe that was part of the motivation for him to commit the murder."

Investigators believe Conner killed her while she slept that night.

Leyton said the medical examiner could not rule out asphyxiation or suffocation as Colton's cause of death.

Leyton said Conner woke the kids and told them they were going on a trip. 

Police can place Conner, near where Colton's body was found, by purchases he allegedly made or tried to make with her bank cards March 14.

Police also have information from the children even though investigators think Conner had them drink NyQuil.

"We believe Mr. Conner wanted those kids to go to sleep so they couldn't remember any of the things that were going on," Leyton said. 

Leyton said one of the children told police Conner had made them drink a "yucky green liquid."  Sales receipts were found indicating NyQuil and the over the counter sleep aid Sominex were purchased, according to Leyton.

Back in Flint that same day, Conner allegedly dropped the kids off at his mother's home.  She found it strange because Colton never let him have the kids alone or drive her car, Leyton explained.

She visited their home and, found it in disarray and her son wouldn't let her in the bedroom, according to Leyton.

When police searched it?

"The mattress had been stripped of bedding and doused in bleach," Leyton said.

Conner was arrested shortly after on an unrelated child support warrant. 

After her body was recovered, police announced they had a person of interest in custody.  Conner was always that person of interest, but wasn't named publicly until Friday.

"Justice is being done," Nappier said.  "That's the main thing.  That he is getting punished for what he did."

Conner is being held, without bond, in the Genesee County Jail.












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