Unknown Mary Prieur Killer- Michigan- 1997 Mar 15, 2018 1:26:42 GMT -5
Post by Scumhunter on Mar 15, 2018 1:26:42 GMT -5
(Above photo credit: mlive.com via Crime Stoppers of Flint & Genesee County)
LENNON, MI -- It's been 21 years to the day that 88-year-old Mary Prieur was found in a swampy, wooded area less than 200 yards from her Lennon Road home.
Over the years, billboards have gone up and door hangers placed on homes in the community, as well as police finding DNA that confirmed Prieur was sexually assaulted prior to her death.
But Prieur's killer remains unknown.
A staple in the Lennon community that was often seen walking her dog Pookie while on the way to grab some food at a local bar, Prieur's body was found around 2 p.m. Feb. 27, 1997, in the area of Lennon Road and M-13.
Her brother-in-law called police around noon that day after finding the door to Prieur's residence ajar and the dog inside, but no signs of Prieur, according to Flint Journal records.
Michigan State Police canine teams taking part in training in the area responded to the scene. A trooper and K-9 officer spotted her body, wrapped in a blanket, roughly two hours after her disappearance was first reported.
An autopsy revealed Prieur -- a regular attendee at multiple churches including St. Mary's in Swartz Creek and St. Robert in Flushing -- had been suffocated and beaten in the head.
Community members rallied after Prieur's murder, putting together a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the responsible person or persons.
"Everybody is still wondering if the people who did it are here," said Barbara BakerOmerod, an attorney and current Lennon village president who helped establish the reward fund, in a February 1998 Flint Journal story.
"They're worried it could be one of their neighbors and how to continue on and ensure it won't happen again," she said.
The money was eventually returned to those who donated after no arrest took place within a few months' time.
A native of Czechoslovakia, Prieur came to the United States when she was eight years old, according to Journal records.
Prieur opened the candy business Sweet Marie's after adding onto the house at Chippewa and Louisa streets in Flint she shared with husband James.
James Prieur told The Flint Journal for a March 1997 story that his wife learned to make candy in Owosso, where she was a student at St. Paul's until dropping out in the eighth grade to help put her sister and brother through school.
"She was just the sweetest, kindest lady," said Gloria Schram, Prieur's neighbor, in a February 2012 Flint Journal story.
Genesee County Undersheriff Chris Swanson previously told MLive-The Flint Journal that DNA from items in the case, including jewelry and clothing, were sent in the same year to a laboratory in Virginia to build a potential suspect profile.
Swanson has stated he hopes to keep a promise made to Prieur's sister to track down the person responsible for her loved one's death.
"I made a promise to her sister," he said. "I'll never, ever forget."
A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered by Crime Stoppers for information leading to a felony arrest. Anyone with a tip may remain anonymous by calling 1-800-422-JAIL (5245) or leaving their information at P3tips.com.
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