From David — A weblog (with full archive)

May 12, 2019 — A look at the house

This past week I had business in Charlotte, the scene of the 2002 murder of Roberto Higüey Alejandro Caraballo, 37, also dubbed “Jack in the Box,” by investigator Detective Bob Donker (retired) for the manner in which he was found…his corpse burned beyond recognition and identification in a footlocker that had been carried (not dragged) into a wood near a blueberry field south of Grand Haven. I looked for the address of what Eaton County investigators have identified as the scene of his murder, 334 Horatio. Investigators found evidence that indicates that he was assaulted in the basement here.

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May 4, 2019 — Charges dropped against Michael Leon Curry

Arrested March 18th for the July 29, 1986 murder of Wilda Wilkinson, Michael Curry was released April 26, according to Channel 8, WOODTV8.

Reporter Leon Hendrix says that the VanBuren County prosecuting attorney will be giving more details next week.

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April 17, 2019 — The swear-to hearing

The day after the press conference, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with Eaton County seeking information about the arrest warrants. I wanted to know more of the story. It was denied in large part and only the arrest complaints were granted. That was something. What I SHOULD HAVE asked for was a copy of the swear-to hearing that outlined much of the crime directly from the court. I’ve been schooled, thank you very much. And here it is. This is what I was after:

Note the start and end times: 5-5:16 p.m. It sure looks like this hearing was intended to be out of the public view. The court closes its doors at 5 p.m. Is there a compelling reason for all this to be in secret? That’s up to the prosecutor and judge to explain. There was only one person giving testimony, Detective James Maltby, and he worked for the county, so he could have been ordered to appear just about any time.

Doing the people’s business in secret is not doing the people’s business.

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April 17, 2019 — Oh, this begins to tell the story

Lansing State Journal reporter Kara Berg has really done her job. Here is the beginning of the story of what happened.

Here is the victim, the son of teachers, a father, and allegedly murdered by his wife, stepdaughter, and her friend.

 Roberto Higüey Alejandro Caraballo, 37

The idea that Roberto Caraballo was still alive when a plastic bag was put over his head to suffocate him…. When I made the film investigators gave that as one possibility. The other was the there was so much blood that it had to be caught. Much more to come.

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April 15, 2019 — A day in court this Friday for Mr. McMillan

Christopher Wayne McMillan will be in Eaton County Circuit Court April 19 (scheduled for 8:30 a.m.) for a status conference. This may be routine, but one never knows. According to his attorney, John Deming, he is unlikely to be there to allocute.

Mr. McMilland is accused of murdering (homicide–open murder), conspiring to murder, and mutilating the body of Roberto Higüey Alejandro Caraballo on or about May 7, 2002. His bail was set at $1 million and he is now in the custody of the Eaton County Jail. He is changed with co-defendants Beverly McCallum and her daughter Dineane Ducharme. Ms. DuCharme is being extradited from a jail in Texas. Ms. McCallum is in the wind, perhaps in Pakistan, according to Sheriff Tom Reich in his presser of April 4.

Mr. McMillan comes to circuit court after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing in district court.

The arrest warrants for the three were issued November 7 of last year. How long has he been in custody? The officer at the booking desk in the county jail indicates that he has been there since November 8, the day after the warrants were issued. So, about five months, a long time. And it wasn’t until a reporter for the Lansing State Journal, Kara Berg, came across the case, that the matter was brought to light, perhaps as a result of her noting that on March 26 the court scheduled the status conference in a murder case, previously unremarked.

Mr. McMillan allegedly was in Charlotte when Mr. Caraballo was murdered (police have determined the crime scene there). Most recently he has been living in Grand Rapids. His facebook page indicates that he came there from San Augustine, Texas. He is quite a piece of work as his page reveals.

There is a notice on his arrest complaint that his DNA is on file from a previous case. I am sure all that will be forthcoming.

So, this Friday is Good Friday.

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April 5, 2019 — The presser and such

Here is the Fox 17 account of the presser.

It is probably the best one. Channel 8 had audio troubles and then some. There are as well lot and lots of stories out there.

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April 4, 2019 — “Jack in the Box” apparently solved

It has taken roughly 17 years since the crime. And now reporters are learning that the “Jack in the Box” case is likely solved. In the first place, there was always the lack of knowledge of Jack’s identity. He is Roberto Higüey Alejandro Caraballo, a native of the Dominican Republic. He was 37 at the time of his murder.

Here are some initial reports:

The Lansing State Journal.

WLNS

And there is a press conference scheduled for today in Eaton County. There is a lot of information that will come out, much of it slowly. But the question some of you have had was this: did the film have anything to do with the solution of the crime? It’s my understanding it did. But the real and ongoing work is the result of two detectives in particular. But that is likely their story to share.

My idea was that I needed to keep Jack’s story out in public, just in case. This relates to my concept of these murder films—and I’ve now made six feature-length films of this kind; of that number, five have been solved. While I am very happy to entertain an audience, I am really reaching out for the ONE person who can tell the police what they need to prosecute the case.

We know that in the early stages of a murder investigation time is the enemy. But once a case grows cold, time can be an ally; people grow consciences, get religion, have kids, think about what they’ve done, are freed from fear of retaliation. Anything can happen, and time is your friend.

But 17 years???

It takes as long as it takes.

And we need to remember Roberto for who he was. In addition to victim, he was a beloved family member. Remember THAT man through all the flash of the news.

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April 3, 2019 — Stand by

Just that for now.

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March 19, 2019 — Wilda Wilkinson’s killer is at last arrested.

The media are sharing the good nest that the alleged killer of Wilda Wilkerson has at last been found. I last wrote about the case here. Boy, that was a long time ago.

Michael Leon Curry, 51, has been arrested for Wilkinson’s 1986 murder in her Bangor home. Curry was a near neighbor and had been on the radar. In 1989 he pled to the attempted murder of his roommate and only was released in 2017. Since then he moved to California, which was where Michigan State Police went to pick him up and bring him back to face this charge.

Here is the Channel 8 account of the story.

And the Detroit free Press account.

There will be more to this. If Detective Sergeant Diane Oppenheim is still on the job, I’d love to talk with her.

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November 17, 2018 — A Conquerors’ Thanksgiving

Today was the Thanksgiving celebration with Conquerors Support Group, the no0n-profit organization for families of murder victims. The gathering this afternoon was at the Sherman Street Christian Church. It was  grand meeting and meal, and part of the news was that after 11 years, executive director and founder Carolyn Priester (whose one son, Lee Randolph Priester was murdered in July 28, 2007) will be folding her organization into a new one, mostly on-line to help families of murder victims throughout the land. Lord, there is plenty of need. It was an honor to be there, to share where the members and supporters the importance of keeping the stories of their loved ones in the public space, especially those stories where the murderers are unknown.

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