January 13, 2017 — Deb Polinsky case update

Two young detectives–Jake Sparks and Jeremy Baum–have taken up the work of the Cold Case Team in the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department. I had the pleasure to meet both of them last month when I went to speak with retiring Sheriff Gary Rosema about his career and memorable cases, especially those still open. Sheriff Rosema indicated that the department was getting closer to solutions of the 1970 Deborah Polinsky murder.

I called Detective Baum a little later and asked for an update on that case in particular and he responded with this e-mail:

Jake and I have interviewed approximately 170 people in 14 months. We have cleared 20+ people through DNA comparisons. There are several theories in this case which include; drug deal gone bad, family member, serial killer, motorcycle gang, jealous love, etc.… We definitely have not narrowed it down yet. We continue to try to clear people and get the clear motive which we believe will greatly reduce the time to solve the case. We do have DNA evidence in this case but are not releasing what it is at this time.

He said that the they were preparing an update to let people in the community know what was happening. We can look for that in the next few weeks.

Of course, if anybody has information about the case here are names, numbers, addresses: Detective Jake Sparks/jsparks@miottawa.org/616.994.4710; or Detective Jeremy Baum/jbaum@miottawa.org/616.738.4018.


  1. WHTC, February 1, 2017:

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