DETROIT (WXYZ) - Claims of new victims – a secret source -- and a $100 Million dollar lawsuit. It sounds like the making of a Hollywood murder mystery – but that’s the latest twist in the 36 year old Oakland County Child Killer Case.
Now we’ve learned – that new information comes from a man who won’t reveal his identity – and he’s someone 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo has spoken to many times.
Nobody seems to know who this man is. What we do know is that this source started contacting Catallo back in 2010 – alleging that these murders were related to cult activity and pagan holidays - but 7 Action News never went with the story because he’s provided absolutely no proof.
After decades of mystery, police still don’t know who abducted and killed four children along the Woodward Corridor between 1976 and 1977.
Some families of the victims have waged a public battle for information from Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper.
Kristine Mihelich was the Oakland County Child Killer’s 3rd known victim -- and now her mother is weighing in with a $100 Million dollar lawsuit filed in federal court.
“The system has not only failed Kris – but has failed all the victims of the monster that took our kids from us. It’s time for Jessica Cooper to step aside and let the Department of Justice investigate these cases,” said Deborah Jarvis.
At a press conference in Detroit, Debbie Jarvis and her attorney Paul Hughes revealed that their lawsuit is based on information from an unknown confidential source who’s been nicknamed “Bob.”
“Have you met him,” Catallo asked Hughes.
“I have never met him. I wouldn’t know him if he was sitting in this room,” said Hughes.
“Do you know his real name,” asked Catallo.
“I don’t know his real name,” said Hughes.
Jarvis also said she did not know “Bob’s” real name, nor has she met him.
Based on the material Hughes included in the lawsuit, it’s believed “Bob” is the same person who was contacting Catallo anonymously in 2010.
He said he could prove that there were more than just 4 victims of the Child Killer – and “Bob” wrote up a detailed memo, alleging that the victims were abducted and their bodies were discovered on dates that were connected to Pagan holidays.
“Bob” claimed the killings were tied to satanic cult activity in metro Detroit. The problem was, “Bob” would never provide a name, or any information about himself, or a phone number so that we could verify what he was saying.
“If he was some crazy dude, he’d just be out there posting it all over. Or he would be turning the matter over to the local county prosecutor. He wanted one piece of information, essentially to confirm what he basically already knew, before he was going to put an individual out there as a suspect. And that, my friends, is integrity on his part. That’s all he wanted to verify before he put that information forward,” said Hughes.
“Are you sure he hasn’t posted anything on the internet,” asked Catallo. “No,” said Hughes.
In November of 2010, someone posted an Associated Press type article on a blog site. However it’s not an actual AP report. It does, however, match the memo the anonymous source sent to 7 Action News.
Hughes says “Bob” has information that ties in additional victims -- young girls who vanished in the 70’s. In the lawsuit he alleges there’s “an extremely high probability that the deaths of Donna Serra, Kim Larrow, Kimberly King, and Jane Allan, among others, are connected to the Oakland County Child Killer case.”
But Hughes admitted he was not aware that specific forensic evidence – dog hair and carpet fibers -- that connect the four known victims.
One of the things the claims of a cover-up hinges on is the grand jury that’s currently hearing testimony on this case. The attorney says an email from the secret source prompted the Oakland County Prosecutor to impanel the grand jury in less than a week.
Here’s what we know about grand juries – it takes a long time to put them together, and there’s a lot of oversight. It doesn’t happen in a week.
While they cannot legally discuss any case that’s before the grand jury, the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office is emphatic that they did not convene a grand jury just to keep this confidential source quiet.
And the Prosecutor herself is calling this lawsuit groundless – and she says the family’s grief is being exploited. Jessica Cooper also says Hughes could get punished by the court for filing a lawsuit with false information in it.
High ranking law enforcement officials tell 7 Action News, they did try to meet with this secret source back in 2010 – but they say he’s the one who never followed through with providing information.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard says there's not a case more important to solve, and if anyone has information on the case, he guarantees it will be investigated.
Hughes says the anonymous source is willing to work with the Department of Justice in Washington, and Hughes has contacted Michigan's senators
to ask the DOJ to intervene.
The FBI has already historically been part of the Oakland County Child Killer Task Force, and the FBI lab at Quantico has processed evidence in the case.