Warehouse C
Dead Nude In The Snow
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Psychic Detectives Struggling With A Mystery Murder

By James Donahue

Some years ago when I worked on a news bureau for one of the Gannett Newspapers, and long before our involvement in psychic functioning, I covered one of the most baffling murder mysteries of my career.

The case involved an attractive Detroit area woman whose nude body was uncovered one winter day after a snow plow tossed it up in the drifted snow on one of the rural roads in the county where I worked.

Police said there was evidence that the girl's wrists had been wired, but that she had somehow broken free and may have been seeking help before she froze to death on that lonely dirt road, miles from anyone's home. She was wearing only boots on her feet when she was found.

The story had all of the makings of a real front-page crime drama. Mystery death of a young unclothed woman whose hands had been wired, left at least a hundred miles from the comfort of her own home.

I worked that story, along with my many other daily duties, for weeks, following the local detectives as they combed the area for clues, first of the girl's identity, and later to determine just what it was that happened to her? Was it really murder?

The police did all of the things that you see in television documentaries. They had an artist sketch the girl's face as it probably looked before she froze to death and got mangled by the snow plow. We published it and the story soon helped police identify the victim as a Detroit hooker who was last seen at a Roseville, Michigan restaurant the night before her body was found. The take-out meal she purchased . . . barbecued ribs . . .was later found un-eaten on the seat of her car not far from Roseville.

Police theorized that someone picked this woman up at or near the restaurant, and took her on a ride into the northern rural area where she died. But who, and why?

A careful search of the area where her body was found lead to an abandoned old structure, once a modest little house that had fallen into ruin, where there was evidence that something connected with the case had occurred there. It appeared that the victim was left in that house, naked and freezing, with her wrists wired. It was obvious that someone wanted her dead.

I got so involved in this story that I sought out the girl's parents and traveled to yet another Detroit suburb to interview the victim's mother. I found her to be an outspoken woman, a proud member of the local volunteer fire department, and a hard worker. She and her husband lived in a modest middle-income neighborhood and were pretty nice people. Their daughter, who was living away from home, was identified as an attractive, relatively intelligent woman pursuing a career. The parents knew nothing of police allegations of prostitution, or at least they said they didn't.

I also accompanied the detectives in a strange visit to the home of a Detroit-area "psychic" who examined a few pieces of police evidence . . . some articles of clothing found in the abandoned house, the wire believed used to bind the girl's wrists, and the pair of boots she was wearing at the time of her death.

The psychic, a woman, touched the articles, then began explaining what she "felt" about the case. As I recall, the information offered no new leads. I remember that a bird feather fell out of the evidence bag and the psychic went into a long discourse on the significance of that feather. She said it was a sign that her "spirit guide" was nearby. That was how far out that woman was.

And so the plot thickened. Police were baffled. They eventually theorized that the killing may have been the result of a drug deal gone bad and that her murder was committed by organized criminals. To this day that killing remains unsolved.

--December 2006