Saturday, July 16, 2011

Paige Missing & The Possible Beverly Wivell Connection

Since her disappearance 21 years ago from the shoulder alongside Interstate 96 near Fowlerville, Michigan, there have been many tips and leads but only more recently have police become confident that they will solve the missing persons case of Paige Renkoski. 

One recent development is the resurfacing of a filed away letter from 1999 which pointed out the potential location of the victim's body. The anonymous tip states that the author was informed of the whereabouts of Ms. Renkoski's remains by the abductors and in retracing their steps found many of the facts to be true. Accompanying the carefully penned missive was a map which leads to a wooded area northwest of downtown Fowlerville. Detectives working the case have been in touch with the landowner and are currently using new ground radar technology to scan the area for possible clues. 

On November 11, 2001, police using cadaver dogs on private property in Livingston County got a positive hit for human remains. They are in the process of obtaining permission from the owner to search the site and a search warrant from the county as offices were closed Friday November 12 in observance of Veteran's Day. A new tip concerning the 20 year old case prompted the early morning search.

Another interesting parallel is the case of Beverly Wivell who was found murdered in Washtenaw County just 9 months prior to the disappearance of Ms. Renkoski. On the day of her disappearance she too had visited the same Griffith Park in Canton Township that Renkoski did and is assumed to have been abducted from that location where her car was found nearby under similar circumstances.

Her reasons for visiting the park were of a different nature than Renkoski's though as her son's bus stop was at the parking lot of Griffith Park. Police assumed that Wivell was en route to the park to pick up the boy when she was found shot along Gotfredson Road south of Ford Road at 10:30 AM. The fact that the boy was left waiting at the school bus worrying that something had happened to his mother, as he had voiced to a friend at the bus stop, does lend some credence to that possibility, though I don't know the exact timeline of events due to lack of resources.

No suspects were named and though Wivell was in the process of divorcing her second husband, Michael Wivell, it was said to be an amicable split and she still spent time between his trailer in the Holiday Estate Parks in Canton and her parents home in Ann Arbor, where she was living at the time of her death. The only witness was a man who lived in the area of the crime scene that had heard a gunshot an hour or so before the discovery of her body by a passerby.

Unfortunately, scant information beyond the few articles posted are to be found online concerning Wivell, 30, and the case remains unsolved. She is buried in Highland Cemetery in Ypsilanti.



Son Waited At Bus Stop For Murdered Mom, The Canton Observer, September 21, 1989

Murder Victim Was Divorcing Her Husband; The Canton Observer, September 25, 1989

Reward Offered In Slaying Of Resident; The Canton Observer, October 16, 1989


Man Scans I-96 To Find Fiancee; The Toledo Blade, June 18, 1990

Free Soil Dad Hunts Missing Daughter; The Ludington Daily News, June 27, 1990

Billboards Go Up To Help Find Missing Woman; The Ludington Daily News, June 28, 1990

Beck Case, Abduction Compared; The Milwaukee Journal, August 10, 1990

Police Refuse To Speculate If Body Is Paige Renkoski; The Ludington Daily News, August 23, 1990

Renkoski Still Awaiting Word About His Missing Daughter; The Ludington Daily News, August 25, 1990

Missing $25,000 Reward; The Ludington Daily News, December 22, 1990


Men May Be Responsible For 1990 Disappearance;, May 31, 2002

Police Identify Two Suspects In 1990 Disappearance Of Paige Renkoski; The Argus-Press, May 31, 2002



Police seek grant for cold case unit; The Detroit Free Press, April 13, 2008


New Leads Emerge In Cold Case;, August 4, 2009 (watch video)

Sketch Released In Old Disappearance;, October 3, 2009


Interests Narrowed In Renkoski Case; April 3, 2010 (watch video)

Reporter Blog: What Happened To Paige?;, May 24, 2010 (watch video)


Collection Of Sketches Revealed In Paige Renkoski Cold Case;, February 23, 2011

Renkoski Case Investigator: We Think We're Close to Resolution;, February 23, 2011

Okemos Woman Joins In 'Missing In Michigan' Event;, May 6, 2011

Radar Being Used In Search For Paige Renkoski;, May 24, 2011 (watch video, watch video)

Bones Discovery May Aid Livingston Cold Case; The Detroit News, June 1, 2011

New tips offered in search for Lansing-area woman; The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, June 6, 2011

Letter & Map May Solve Cold Case;, June 7, 2011

PM Environmental, Inc Uses Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to Assist Livingston County Sheriff Cold-Case Team;, June 24, 2011

Additional articles which appeared online but are now Pay-Per-View can be found here.

Lansing based firm assists in search for Paige Renkoski: The Livingston Daily (watch video)

Police Release New Sketches; WYXZ TV, February 23, 2011

Paige Renkoski possible suspects; WYXZ TV, February 23, 2011

Renkoski Case: Team Releases Sketch; Fox Detroit, October 23, 2009

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