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Suspects Questioned In Coed's Death

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Suspects Questioned In Coed's Death

Weapon Not Found Yet

A number of suspects are being questioned today by Ann Arbor Police in connection with the murder of Joan E. Schell, a 20-year-old Eastern Michigan University junior, whose partially-decomposed body was found in a field near Glacier Way and Earhart Rd. Friday afternoon.

None of the suspects are being held.

Police have a rough sketch of one of the occupants of the car which picked up Miss Schell on Washtenaw Ave. in Ypsilanti Sunday night. The sketch was drawn by one of the witnesses who saw the girl get into the car in question. One of the occupants was described as being about 20 years old, having dark brown hair and wearing a green EMU tee shirt and being about five feet, eight inches tall. All three occupants were white males.

The car is said to be red in color and having a black top. It is estimated to be a 1966 or 1967 model. A state-wide alert has been issued for any information concerning the vehicle and its occupants.

Senior Police Capt. Harold E. Olson, who also is acting Ann Arbor police chief, said the questioning of witnesses and friends of the dead girl is continuing. He added that neither the murder weapon nor the girl's purse have been located.

Olson refused to elaborate on any of the suspects for fear of harming the department's investigation.

He said the search at the place where the body was found has been ended. He said personnel from the Michigan State Police Crime Laboratory are assisting Ann Arbor Police. He said he still hasn't received a written report on the girl from Dr. Robert Hendricks, a University of Michigan pathologist.

Police said Miss Schell had been stabbed five times and her throat was slashed. The autopsy, performed at University Hospital revealed she had died from multiple stab wounds.

Miss Schell had been missing since last Sunday night after hitching a ride with three white men who were riding in a red car on Washtenaw Ave. in Ypsilanti at the time.

Police are still searching for the car. The make, model and license number of the vehicle is still unknown.

Police St. Eugene L. Staudenmaier said the girl was en route to see her boyfriend at the time she was picked up.

About 4:30 pm Friday, police picked up her boyfriend, Dale R. Schultz, 19, of 1101 S. Henry, Plymouth. Schultz, who has been AWOL from the U.S. Army since the latter part of June was picked up at an apartment off campus.

Staudenmaier said he didn't know how long Schultz had been living there and did not resist officers when apprehended.

Schultz was questioned by police but had no knowledge of the murder of Miss Schell. He had a pair of brass knuckles in his possession when picked up, Staudenmaier reported.

"As far as I'm concerned he is not being held as a suspect, " Staudenmaier said. He didn't elaborate on Schultz's reactions or comments upon being told of the girl's death.

Schultz is being held at the county jail, pending the arrival of military police.

Susan Kolbe, 18-year-old roommate of Miss Schell, notified the Ypsilanti City Police Department that Joan was missing at seven o'clock Monday morning. A few moments later she called Joan's parents in Plymouth.

Four days later, Lt. Staudenmaier told Miss Kolbe that her missing roommate had been found dead.

The News contacted Miss Kolbe at her home in New Baltimore where she had gone "to be with my parents." She said the last time she saw Joan was on Washtenaw  in front of Welch Hall. "She was getting into a red car with a black top and there were three men in the car. That was at 11:30 Sunday night.

"We had spent the weekend with our parents," Miss Kolbe said, "and had been home only a few hours when Joan decided to go into Ann Arbor to see her boyfriend. He had called earlier and Joan was going to meet him.

Miss Kolbe said Joan had been dating her boyfriend for about three years. "Joan didn't date anyone else but him," she said.

Miss Kolbe said she had gone with Joan to catch the bus into Ann Arbor. She indicated there were supposed to be two busses, one at 10:30 and one at 10:40 p.m., but only one bus came by and "it didn't stop."

She said Joan had suggested hitchhiking to Ann Arbor. "We had hitchhiked before," she said, "but always together -- never alone."

Miss Kolbe said she had not planned to go to Ann Arbor with Joan. "I had to work Monday morning and I wanted to get some sleep," she said. Miss Kolbe works as a secretary at Ypsilanti High School.

"I became worried the next morning when Joan didn't return," said Miss Kolbe, "I suspected something was wrong because it wasn't like Joan to stay out overnight."

Miss Kolbe, a junior majoring in special education, and Joan had been "extremely close friends" for two years. They met when they were freshmen at Eastern and were roommates for two years in Sellers Hall. They moved into the apartment at 703 Emmet about a month ago.

Joan was a junior majoring in art and "was very interested in art and music," said Miss Kolbe. "She was a very mature, well adjusted girl. She was quiet and reserved and she had her own circle of friends."

Ypsilanti City Police said today that they have a city ordinance prohibiting hitchhiking in the city. Police explained that "although they try to enforce it, it is difficult to do so."

However, according to Staudenmaier, the city of Ann Arbor has no such ordinance. Although there are signs forbidding vehicles to stop on main thoroughfares in the city, there is no law on the books against hitchhiking.

"We try to warn persons against hitchhiking but it doesn't do much good. There's not much we can do about it," Staudenmaier said.

Near Where Coed's Body Was Found

The body of Joan E. Schell, an Eastern Michigan University coed, was found near this intersection of Earhart Rd. (left to right across bottom of picture) and Glacier Way. The body was found at a point some 350 feet down Glacier Way. Police cars and police officers inspecting the scene are barely visible (upper right).

Section Four

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