Murder Suspect Drawing Released
A new drawing of one of three suspects sought in the Joan E. Schell murder case was released today by the office of Prosecuting Attorney William F. Delhey.
The drawing was made recently by an artist who conferred with witnesses involved in the case. Assistant Prosecutor Thomas F. Shea said the latest drawing is the most accurate and agrees with all descriptions of the youth furnished by witnesses.
Miss Schell, an Eastern Michigan University sophomore, was picked up in front of the McKenney Union some time after 11:30 p.m. on the night of June 30. Her body, stabbed more than a dozen times, was found five days later in a construction area on Glacier Way near Earhart Rd.
The lone clue unearthed in the 11-week investigation by detectives from four participating police agencies has been descriptions of the car which picked the murder victim up and of one occupant of that car. The vehicle was red and black and a late model, and the youth who got out of the two-door vehicle to let Miss Schell get in the back seat was about 20 and wearing an Eastern Michigan University T-shirt.
Initially police released a picture of the lone suspect which was made mechanically by a special kit but officers now feel that picture was not accurate.
“That type of picture confines you pretty much to certain types of facial characteristics,” Shear notes. “For some types of criimes in certain situations it serves well, but not in this case. The artist’s drawing we now have appears much more true to life.”
Shea said recent investigation has revealed that the man pictured in th e drawing and the two youths who were with him in the car that night made at least one telephone call from a pay phone in the main lobby of the McKenney Union moments before they picked up Miss Schell. He said witnesses saw one of the youths talking on the pay phone in the lobby and his companions standing near him.
“The person to whom that call was made could well unlock this whole thing,” Shea said. “Whoever it is probably knows the name and home of these three youths. If he or she will provide us that information—anonymously if necessary—we may have the answer to this killing.”
More than $7,000 in reward money is being offered for the arrest and conviction of Miss Schell’s slayer. The Ann Arbor City Council has been given legal clearance to post another $5,000 in reward money. Shea says the reward could be paid to the person who knows the three youths who picked up Miss Schell on June 30 if it is proved they murdered her.
The prosecutor also noted that a red-and-black car, similar to the vehicle which the victim accepted a ride, is known to have been seen around the Eastern Michigan University dormitories the day before the murder. He said students who may have noticed the license number or the occupants are urged to contact the nearest police agency and provide that information.
Shea said with all EMU students now back from summer vacation, it is possible that those with key information on the murder will now realize the importance of data they may possess and come forward.
He said he is convinced someone on the Ypsilanti campus knows of the three occupants of the car being sought and can give police information on how to reach them. He added that police protection will be provided for those who feel they need it after providing information, and that those wishing to remain anonymous can easily do so.