REED CITY Janette Roberson was murdered 38 years ago in the basement of a hardware store in Reed City. Her murder has yet to be solved.
Somebody knows something, has a tip, or saw something that could help solve the crime, said Roberson’s sister Lana Jarvie.
“If you were ... in town the day she died and if you were down in the basement the day she died, and you saw something, whether you thought you saw something or not, you need to step forward and tell somebody,‘ Jarvie said. “If your uncle’s cousin’s brother’s son told you they did this, turn them in.‘
Jarvie has helped organize a walk, Justice for Janette, to call attention to the murder and generate leads. In its eighth year, the walk will be held Saturday from noon until 4 p.m. starting at the Reed City Depot on North Chestnut. Jarvie said COVID precautions will be followed, including having masks, gloves and hand sanitizer available, and keeping participants a safe distance.
Because of COVID restrictions, some details will be dependent upon current restrictions, Jarvie said. She said if needed, the program portion of the walk will be held outside. She said before the walk there will be some comments made, after the presentation people will go downtown to the site when Roberson was murdered.
Roberson was 27 at the time of the murder, which happened in the afternoon on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 1983. She was working in the pet department in the basement of what was then Gambles Store in downtown Reed City. Her body was discovered around 4 p.m.
Jarvie said she does not believe police are any closer to solving the case and she is worried that many people have forgotten about the murder.
“I might be beating a dead horse (with the walk) but people of Reed City need to remember this happened here,‘ Jarvie said. “It happened 38 years ago, yeah, I know that is a long time ago, but she was a human being and whoever did this is still out there walking around.‘
Though Jarvie admits she does not believe police are closer to solving the murder, she remains hopeful the walk will trigger someone to come forward.
“It is the same thing we have been trying to accomplish every year, that is to get it solved,‘ Jarvie said. “I hope someone will be brave enough, somebody will just have a conscience and say something. I know there is somebody out there that knows something.
“It gets harder every year,’‘ she added, “especially when people lose interest. It is like beating your head against a brick wall. ... We are told we have to wait, but how much longer?‘
Michigan State Police are continuing to investigate Roberson’s murder. However, new detectives have been recently assigned to the case and are still reviewing the Roberson file and other cases, said State Police Sixth District Spokesperson, Spl./Lt. Michelle Robinson.
“It is our sincerest hope that tips are generated from this event that could be used to benefit this investigation,‘ Robinson said.