Cold Case Team Focusing On 1983 Atwood Case
By Ken DeLaat - Near North Now News
Last year the tireless and enduring efforts of the Cold Case Team brought home an arrest and conviction of Paul and Matthew Jones for the 1989 slaying of Shannon Siders.
Now a task force including Michigan State Police Detective Sergeant Scott Rios MSP Trooper Bob Watson, Newaygo County Detective Sergeant Adam Mercer, and Deputy Bill Nemcek and Newaygo County Prosecutor Robert Springstead are focusing on another long unsolved case and...
...will be once again looking for help from the community to provide information that might lead to an arrest.
Richard Atwood was a 25 year old resident of White Cloud when he was reported missing on August 22 1983. He was last seen on August 10. His vehicle a brown 1975 Pontiac Trans Am was recovered in the Grand Rapids area two months later on October 17.
According to Wednesday’s press release:
“For the past 32 years, area detectives have continued to investigate the case, following up on tips related to the homicide of Richard Atwood. Since the task force was formed, there have been numerous interviews conducted. Evidence has been re-examined as task force members are confident that advances in forensic science and information technology will generate new leads and aid investigators in bringing this case to a successful conclusion.”
“Cold cases are often solved because the passage of time allows witnesses and persons with information to come forward. Investigators feel that there are persons with information that will be pertinent to the 1983 death of Richard Atwood.”
“Early on there was a strong suspect but one of the obstacles in this case was proving the victim, who was missing, was deceased,” said Prosecutor Springstead.”In 1983 there were no DNA tests.”
“Some biological substance found in the car was believed to belong to the victim but it wasn’t until DNA testing was done that the substance could be linked to the missing person.”
Newaygo County Sheriff Patrick Hedlund was part of the team that worked on the Shannon Siders case and his office is committed to continuing the mission of bringing resolution to cases like Richard Atwood’s.
“As Sheriff, working to solve cold cases is one of my top priorities,” said Hedlund. “We simply refuse to give up on murder cases. We have detectives in our department who now have experience working on cold case homicides and we will continue to partner with the Michigan State Police and other agencies to find justice for the families of murder victims.”
“I have every confidence in the Cold Case Team,” added Springstead. “They’re a great group of investigators. We’re hoping anyone from the community who has information will co-operate and come forward to help us on this.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact D/Sgt. Scott Rios at firstname.lastname@example.org, at the Michigan State Police at 231.873.2171, D/Sgt. Adam Mercer of the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office at 231-689-7303 or Silent Observer 231.652.1121. The Silent Observer program allows information to be shared anonymously.