By Judy Seifert
TUSCOLA TOWNSHIP — For over seven years, the mother of Kevin J. Amos has waited to learn the name of the person who killed her son. On Thursday morning, March 26, Jeannette Amos sat in a Saginaw courtroom and heard that three people were now being charged in the young man’s death.
Saying only that her son’s murder has never been far from her mind, Jeannette Amos, her family and Michigan State Police Detective Sargent Lisa Speary, who investigated the murder, have worked together for three years to unravel the mystery.
In January 2009, Speary said she was keeping in touch with Kevin’s mother on a regular basis. And, every year around the time of young man’s death, a Crime Stoppers commercial aired regarding the homicide.
“We just won’t give up,” she said then.
On Thursday, Attorney General Mike Cox announced that three Saginaw residents now face premeditated first degree murder charges in the death of Kevin Amos.
Patrick Martin, 39, Tanisha Williams, 27, and Terrance Shepard, 33, are in custody. Martin was in the Saginaw County Jail on unrelated charges when the arrest warrant was issued.
Amos, then 19, was last seen alive on December 27, 2002 at his girlfriend’s apartment in
Bridgeport. He was dropped off by his father who said his son wanted to spend some time with his infant daughter.
The building, located at 2090 King Rd. in Bridgeport Township, at the corner of Olive Road and just off Williamson Road, is where Speary said she believed Kevin was killed. Investigators said then they believed Kevin was killed at the building, then left there for two to three days before being dumped in a ditch. His family reported him missing Jan. 1, 2003.
Kevin’s body was discovered in March 2003 by two men out for a Sunday afternoon fishing trip. The young man’s remains were on a steep bank of the Cass River near Ormes Road and Lewis Road in Tuscola Township.
At that time, State Police investigators said an autopsy found no stab or gunshot wounds on the body. They also said duct tape covered his head and restrained his hands. The cause of death was asphyxiation, but toxicology reports had not yet been returned. He was identified by use of fingerprints.
“Our special emphasis on cracking cold cases like this one should send the message that we will bring killers to justice and help find closure for victims’ families,” said Attorney General Mike Cox. “Justice may be delayed, but it will not be denied.”
Arrested on Wednesday, March 25, Martin, Williams and Shepard pleaded not guilty at their arraignment in the courtroom of Saginaw County District Judge Terry Clark. Bail was denied.
Williams was arrested at her job at Bay County Golf Course. Shepard was at home.
Each of the suspects faces a life term in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. Martin was in jail because of a recent robbery conviction. Shepard also faces a second separate felony charge of perjury.
Preliminary exams have been set for 10 a.m. on April 8 in 70th District Court.
Kevin was a graduate of Saginaw’s Arthur Hill High School. He lived in Bridgeport Township at the time of his death.
Judy Seifert is a staff writer for the Tuscola County Advertiser. She can be reached at [email protected]