Suspect in 1973 Bay City cold case homicide lived near victim, was officer's son

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BAY CITY (WJRT) (12/6/2018) - The latest suspect in a 45-year-old unsolved Bay City homicide case lived a few houses down from the victim and is the son of a city police officer.

Jan Rohrer

Sources say the suspect, who has not been identified, was briefly arrested earlier this year and released with no charges filed.

The suspect is accused of killing 13-year-old Jan Rohrer. She vanished on Nov. 16, 1973, while walking to school and her remains were found in a marshy area of Saginaw County about a year later.

"It's very surprising it has taken this long to find something out and that there has been no one who has come forward to say anything all this time," said Tom Rohrer, the older brother of Jan.

Reports when Rohrer's body was found say she was assaulted and shot. Police questioned a number of people, but there had never been an arrest until last April.

"They have a new potential suspect in the case and somebody who had not been looked at previously who fits some of the criteria that they have developed for a potential perpetrator in this case," Rohrer said.

A 62-year-old man from the Lansing area was booked at the Saginaw County Jail in April for open murder, but was released pending further investigation.

The man was 17 at the time of the Jan Rohrer's disappearance, lived just a few houses from the girl's family and county records indicate his father was a Bay City police officer who died in 1985.

The Bay City Police Department declined to comment on the investigation this week. Michigan State Police Lt. Dave Kaiser said the case has been forwarded to Bay County Prosecutor's Office, which will decide whether to file criminal charges.

"I would like to see this case move forward, if possible, to bring closure, so at least the family would have closure and the person responsible would be held accountable," Kaiser said.

The prosecutor's office did not return messages seeking comment this week.