UNSOLVED MICHIGAN CRIME: The 1983 Murder of Janette Roberson
It was in 1983 when 27-year-old Janette Roberson was the victim of a still-unsolved Reed City murder.
Janette, her husband and two children had only been living in Reed City about eight months, having come from Georgia.
At the time of her murder, she was working in the pet department at Gamble’s, a store that now stands downtown as Reed City Hardware. An employee had ventured into the basement where she found Janette’s body during the afternoon of January 19. She had been brutally beaten, bruised, and sexually assaulted.
Janette’s husband Alvin had been having an affair, and eyes turned toward him. It didn’t take long for him to move himself and the kids back to Georgia, where he ended up marrying the woman he was rumored to be having the affair with. They were eventually ruled out as suspects.
Weeks after the crime, with suspects being released and no substantial leads, a reward of $7,000 was raised for anyone who gave any information that proved credible.
Her sister Lana was quoted as saying, “I believe someone was infatuated with her -- had a crush on her. My sister was very friendly and naïve, really. Whoever did this could have gone there to make a move and she rejected this person, and boom. That was all it took…..Someone out there knows something. They need to finally come forward. The scary thing is the person who did this is out there somewhere. That’s terrifying, because Janette was killed in a horrible way. What’s stopping this person from doing it again? We need to get them off the streets.”
There is a Facebook page dedicated to solving this crime that you can check out here. Every year on the anniversary of Janette’s death, walks to the crime scene are organized in hopes of someone coming forward with legitimate tips on the case.
You can find out more about the annual walks HERE.