Picture of Ann Paetz on brown background with words "Ann Paetz Cold Case"

Ann Paetz

The Crime

In July 1999, a jogger discovered the body of Anne Paetz on the side of the road in Thetford Township, Michigan. Fifteen miles away, her parked car was found with fresh damage to the area around the back right tire.  The keys were still inside the vehicle.  Her killer had stabbed her in the neck; upon examination of the body, investigators determined Anne had died from blood loss.

The Victim

Hours before her murder, Anne Paetz enjoyed an evening with her friends at a local bar. At twenty-three years old, she was known to be the life of the party. Her friends and family remember Anne as extremely kind and always willing to help out anyone in need. She graduated from Frankenmuth High School and attended Pittsburgh Institute of Arts before returning to her family in Saginaw

The Cold Case

It has been over 24 years since the murder of Anne Paetz and, until now, the primary piece of evidence was the small sample of DNA found on her ring. Thanks to advances in DNA technology, more information has been uncovered that will hopefully bring Anne’s killer to justice.

How WMU Cold Case Program Students are Helping

WMU’s Cold Case team has been assisting detectives from the Michigan State Police 3rd District in their investigation. The students organized the case file, then digitized it to make it easier for the detectives to analyze unfollowed leads. The students spent countless hours mapping out possible routes Anne had taken the evening she was killed, finding for names of interest, evidence that was collected and tested, compiled a case and person index for the file and compiling data on what samples were taken directly after Anne’s death.  They’ve also done various other research tasks the detectives needed.  The students have also researched similar crimes in the area around the year Anne was killed to discover if Anne’s killer may have targeted other women in the area.

This case is ongoing.