Police dig in Grand Blanc Twp; Blue AMC Gremlin found buried, possible Child Killer connection

GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - A blue Gremlin car was discovered Tuesday, buried in the ground just north of Oakland County. Could it be a new lead in the decades-old Oakland County Child Killings?

Crime lab techs dug through earth all night long – and they are still on the scene in Grand Blanc Township.

Pat Phillips took photos of the car parts last month after she realized they were from an AMC Gremlin.

"I said those were out in the 70s sometime," said Phillips. The chunk of metal was painted blue with a white stripe.

Phillips says a contractor who was excavating a basement for a new home next door unearthed the car parts.  It wasn't until a neighbor remembered the Gremlin's notorious connection to the Oakland County Child Killings that the neighbor called the police last night.

"There were like 4 tires sticking up – it was like the car was chopped up. It was sheet metal and in pieces when they dug it up," said Phillips.

Between 1976 and 1977, four children were abducted and murdered in Oakland County.

At the time, detectives publicized that a blue Gremlin had been seen at the abduction site in Birmingham of the last Child Killer victim – Timmy King. Police stopped hundreds of Gremlins and other cars – hoping to rescue the boy.

"Our understanding is this was farmland before and it was common practice for farmers to dig a big hole and dump all their garbage on it and bury it," said Michigan State Police Lt. Michael Shaw.

Lt. Shaw says they don't know if this Gremlin is tied to the unsolved murders – but they are treating the Grand Blanc Township site as a crime scene.

State troopers escorted two dump trucks filled with potential evidence out of the subdivision – and it's now being analyzed at the MSP Crime Lab in Bridgeport.

"The pieces were in awful shape. Once the crime lab gets it into a controlled environment, they're able to tell if there's something that's been cut – up we don't know right now," said Lt. Shaw.

The 7 Action News Investigators that one of the parts that was found was a fender. Task Force detectives are now trying to trace the VIN number of the vehicle as well as old property records for the site where the car parts were discovered.

7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo spoke with Timmy King's father, Barry King. He said he's always doubted that the Gremlin actually played a role in this case. As for this discovery, he's says he's "hopeful but not optimistic."

Mike Stebbins, who's brother Mark was the Oakland County Child Killer's first victim, says he's not getting his hopes up until there's some concrete evidence.

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