State Roundup

East Lansing
State police seek tips in 1970s homicide case

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — State police are asking the public for tips in an ongoing homicide investigation into the 1970s death of a Michigan State University student whose body was found by mushroom hunters.
Thursday will mark 40 years since the body of 19-year-old Diane Elizabeth Osinski was found in a densely wooded area of the Rose Lake conservation area in Clinton County’s Bath Township, located northeast of the school’s East Lansing campus.
State police detectives have continued to investigate the case, and the Lansing post is collecting tips, the Lansing State Journal and WILX-TV reported. There have been no charges. The hope is that publicity around the anniversary will bring a break in the cold case.
“I am hopeful there is someone out there who will come forward with that one crucial piece of evidence we need to move forward, and finally give Diane’s surviving family members the closure they deserve,” said Detective Sgt. Kyle McPhee, the lead investigator in the case.
“Forty years is an extremely long time to have to live with the unknown.”
Osinski was last seen leaving her off-campus residence on July 24, 1972, and was reported missing by her roommate on July 31, 1972. Her remains were found May 9, 1973. State police said they continue to explore possible forensic developments and potential leads.

City selling police facility and seven unused firehouses

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit plans to sell seven unused firehouses and a renovated but long-vacant police facility that once housed horses as part of an effort to raise money and encourage redevelopment.
The administration of Mayor Dave Bing wants developers to come forward with creative ideas for reuse of the buildings, most of which have been closed in recent years as the city downsized its fire operations, Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday.
According to officials, the buildings are structurally sound, but have been vandalized and, in some cases, stripped of hardware, metals and other materials. Some date to the 1920s. The city plans to accept bids through May 24, and tours of the buildings are planned.
The city said it has heard from developers looking to bring restaurants, wineries or micro-distilleries creating locally crafted liquors.
“The ultimate bid winners are going to be those who come up with the best ideas,” said Brad Dick, director of the city’s General Services Department.
The combined total in minimum bids for the buildings would be $637,000. One firehouse, on the city’s west side, has a minimum bid listed at $128,000; the former home of Detroit Fire Department Ladder No. 10 was among a number shut down last year.
Detroit’s finances are being run by a state-appointed emergency manager. According to Bing, the planned firehouse sales are a step toward encouraging redevelopment and ridding the city of buildings and properties it no longer needs and that generate no taxes.
“We need to raise money,” Bing said in a statement. “These are the kinds of developments, the kinds of people we need to attract.”
Detroit’s budget deficit stands at $327 million and the city has a long-term debt of more than $14 billion that includes retiree and other obligations.
The buildings will not be the first Detroit firehouses to be sold. A developer and the city are finalizing a sale of the old Detroit Fire Department headquarters in downtown, across the street from Cobo Center. The developer wants to create a boutique hotel.

Michigan highway to be named after slain police officer

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation to name part of Interstate 94 after a slain police officer.
Snyder signed the bill Tuesday. Under the bill, the portion of I-94 in Kalamazoo County will be named the Officer Eric Zapata Memorial Highway.
Thirty five-year-old Zapata was a 10-year veteran of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety with three children. On April 18, 2011, Zapata was one of several officers called to Kalamazoo’s Edison neighborhood following a report of shots being fired. He was killed during a shootout.
Snyder’s office says Zapata was the first officer in the Kalamazoo department to be killed in the line of duty.
Snyder says in a statement that the designation will remind future generations of Zapata’s sacrifice.

Man charged in girlfriend’s death to get psych exam

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A man charged with killing his 27-year-old girlfriend and dumping her body in a Michigan ditch while her three children were in the car is getting a psychiatric examination.
The Flint Journal reports 28-year-old Henry Conner is due in court Aug. 27 after the evaluation to determine whether he’s competent for trial.
Conner faces first-degree murder and other charges in the slaying of Tanisha Colton of Flint. Authorities have said they don’t believe the children saw Colton’s body.
Colton was reported missing March 13. Family and friends searched for her until a motorist found her body March 25 in a roadside ditch in Monroe County’s Ash Township, about 70 miles south of Flint.
Conner was charged last month. Defense attorney Frank Manley says his client maintains his innocence.