UNSOLVED LANSING CRIME: The Murder of Karen Oatley, 1979
UNSOLVED LANSING CRIME: August 6, 1979...Karen Oatley, 14, was found fully clothed, strangled in the woods near Gardner Junior High, with her throat cut.
After her father reported her missing on Sunday evening, the police marked her as a possible runaway. Her grandfather found her abandoned bicycle around 1:30 in the afternoon on Monday.....from then, the investigation and search got serious. Her body was found by a police dog around 2:15pm, not far from the bicycle. The papers reported it was the first teenage murder since the abduction of Laurie Murninghan nine years earlier.
Karen was born deaf - which may or may not have been a factor in this incident, even though friends said that as the years went by, she was able to hear without the help of hearing aids.
Police questioned all the boys in the surrounding neighborhood with no luck. According to the Daytona Beach Morning Journal dated August 9, 1979, the police "reported dozens of tips but no arrests in Sunday's suffication death of Karen Lynn Oatley. 14. Her body was found in woods within five blocks of her home Monday, almost 24 hours after she vanished while riding her bicycle. The body was 50 yards from the bicycle."
This is still fresh in the memories of many who were living in the area back in the summer of 1979.
In 2010 there were rumors of new information and leads, but so far nothing else has come to light.
This is just one of many Lansing cold cases that are being re-opened for investigation. Find out more at lansingstatejournal.com by CLICKING HERE.