By Judy Reed
The Montcalm County Sheriff Department confirmed at a news conference last week that Michael and Kathleen Greene, of Pierson, were stabbed to death in their Whitefish Lake home before it was set on fire October 28.
Police are seeking the help of the public in bringing the killer or killers to justice.
“We remain absolutely committed to solving this crime and are continuing to pursue new leads and reexamine evidence,” said Montcalm Sheriff Bill Barnwell. “We have enlisted the aid of the Michigan State Police, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
The bodies of Michael Thomas Greene, 59, and his wife, Kathleen Marie Greene, 56, were found in the basement of their smoldering residence Thursday evening, October 28, at 3063 Shorecrest Drive, on Big Whitefish Lake, in Pierson Township. The Howard City Fire Department and Montcalm County EMS responded to the scene about 11:18 p.m. on a fire call and reported finding the two bodies inside the house.
Sheriff Barnwell said that cause of death for the couple was multiple stab wounds, and that evidence showed that Michael Greene bravely resisted or fought with his attacker prior to succumbing to his wounds.
The four-bedroom, 20-year-old lakefront home was for sale for $625,000. The couple had spent the days prior to the murders getting ready for sale of their home and the majority of their possessions. “They had been planning on downsizing their lives in order to pursue their new career of grandparenting,” explained Barnwell.
Some eyewitnesses reported a suspicious vehicle in the vicinity of the Greene’s home that night, and police have issued a composite drawing of the suspect. Barnwell said the killer brought a lot of violence to the crime scene, and they expect that he is explosively violent in his personal life as well. There is evidence that he took a large quantity of cash and prescription medication before setting the home on fire and escaping. He may have had to explain a cut or injury to his hands the next day.
Barnwell said there is also evidence that a second person may have been present when the killer entered the Greene’s home. “It is to that other person that we would like to speak,” said Barnwell. “We are offering this second person a chance to come clean and remove this burden and fear from your conscience and mind, remove yourself from harm’s way, and help end the killer’s victimization of others. We understand you may fear your involvement that night could expose you to punishment; your coming forward will go a long way in positively determining your future life. No one should live in fear or danger from this killer. No family should ever have to lose their grandparents at his hands again.”
The police are also asking the public to come forward with any info they have, even if they think it may have been reported already. “It may be the case that someone encountered the killer around the time of the crime and thought his behavior odd or frightening. Someone may have heard an unusual conversation about the murder,” said Barnwell. If you have information, contact Det/Sgt Goerge at (989) 831-7590, ext. 7516 or the Sheriff’s Office tip line at (989) 831-593.
There are rewards for information leading to the arrest and bind over or conviction of the parties involved in the crime. The Michigan Arson Prevention Committee has up to a $5,000 reward for tips to them and may be contacted at 800-44-ARSON (800-442-7766). Silent Observer also offers up to $1,000 and may be contacted at (866) 774-2345, or you can report a crime on their website at silentobserver.org. You can also text Silent Observer a tip. Text “Tip138” plus your message to CRIMES (274637). The keyword TIP138 must appear on the first line of your text message in order to reach Silent Observer.
To see the complete news release from the Montcalm County Sheriff Department, visit http://www.montcalm.org/sheriff.asp and click on “News Releases” under the subheading Sheriff/Undersheriff.