Cold case solved? Bay County investigators zero in on 1973 murder suspect

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BAY CITY (WJRT) (12/4/2018) - Police appear to be getting closer to solving the 1973 disappearance and murder of 13-year-old Jan Rohrer.

Jan Rohrer

She vanished while walking to school on Nov. 26, 1973, and hunters found her body a year later in a marshy area of Saginaw County.

In the 45 years since, potential suspects have come and gone. Now, jail records indicate a man was arrested earlier this year in connection with the case.

He was released pending further investigation. While police are staying tight-lipped on the case, Jan's brother is hoping this mystery will finally be solved.

"We think about our sister a lot, but especially around Thanksgiving time, because this happened just after Thanksgiving back in 1973," Tom Rohrer said, who was in college when his sister was murdered.

Earlier reports indicated Jan had been assaulted and shot. Police have had suspects, but there was never an arrest.

"Some of them who themselves said they were involved in my sister's murder and abduction, but that turned out to be just some boasting by petty criminals in the area," Rohrer said.

Saginaw County jail records show on April 19, a 62-year-old man from the Lansing area was booked on an open murder charge but released pending further investigation. The arrest was in connection with Jan Rohrer's case.

Tom Rohrer believes this suspect could be the one.

"This time we are a little more confident because it's a new person who hadn't been looked at before and the information I have about the new suspect makes a lot of sense when I think about it," he said.

The Michigan State Police and the Bay City Police Department continue to investigate, but do not want to disclose any more information about the suspect and why he was arrested.

"We are working with the prosecutor's office to see if there is enough evidence to move this case forward," said Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser.

That's what Tom Rohrer has been hoping for, for more than four and a half decades.

"My brother and I and the rest of our family have been working for 45 years to bring the perpetrator to justice and I hope that this time something will come of it," he said.

The Bay City Police Department and Bay County Prosecutor's Office could not be reached for comment.



 
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