On October 31, 1981, 11-year-old Karl Heickel told his parents that he was going for a walk in Calumet, Michigan. The boy never returned home. A year later, evidence of his remains was found in a nearby forest.
Forty years later, the townspeople of Calumet still wonder what happened on Halloween night in 1981.
Years later, a local librarian is trying to bring the case back to Calumet’s residents’ minds. Dillon Geshel lives in Chassell, Michigan, just a few miles from Calumet. About 10 years ago he heard a story he couldn’t believe.
In an interview with Dateline, Dillon said he heard the story from a colleague at the library. “I mean, there were people who moved to the Calumet area for new jobs,” Dillon said. “They had 40 acres of land and they were going to hunt there. The first night, as he stood in the grove, he heard a boy crying in the woods. When I turned on the lights and looked around, the crying stopped.Similarly, when I turned off the lights, I heard more crying.He sometimes felt like the crying was approaching him.”
Dillon continued. “So this person apparently approached the local librarian and said, ‘Can you help me find out if anything strange has happened on my property in the past?'”
Dillon said it was a return visit to the library to read the Michigan Tech archives about a child who went missing and was later found on his property.
Dillon’s curiosity was immediately piqued. “So I went to the Michigan Tech archives and pulled out a vertical file on people who went missing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” Dillon said. “And yes, I found a newspaper clipping that Karl Heikel has gone missing.”
The young librarian wanted to know more about this local mystery. “So I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with state police to get the files, then turned to other Upper Peninsula libraries and found newspaper clippings,” Dillon said.
As he read through the documents, a decades-old story began to emerge…
Karl Heikell was like any other 11-year-old. He was the youngest of his four siblings and the only boy. The Dateline spoke with one of his older sister’s girlfriends, Patti Heikel.
Patty said Karl is happy and social. “He was never shy. He was a very outgoing kid,” Patti told Dateline. I liked the kind of people.”
On the evening of October 31, 1981, Karl told his parents that he was going for a walk. Karl’s family began to worry as it got dark and Karl had not yet returned home. Patti told Dateline that his brother was afraid of the dark.”He was definitely afraid of the dark,” Patti said. “He slept on our couch in the living room because the street lights were coming in through the window. He didn’t sleep in the upstairs bedroom because it was dark.”
The next morning, when Carl had not yet returned home, his family reported him missing to the Michigan State Police.
Michigan State Police Sergeant Jeremy Cleary told Dateline about the incident. Although not the first investigator in 1981, he was assigned to investigate Carl’s case earlier this year. He said Karl was originally classified as a runaway/missing person. “No,” she said. “No, my brother didn’t run away.”
Detective Sergeant Cleary told Dateline that authorities conducted aerial searches, ground searches and used dogs to try and find Carl.
Rumors of the missing boy soon spread throughout the Calumet area.
According to Dillon Geshel, locals believe there have been multiple sightings in the days following Karl’s disappearance. “About Carl being out and that night he went to different restaurants, like a pizza parlor and a bowling alley,” Dillon said. “There are kids telling stories that Carl lives in the woods and other kids bring him food and Carl is hiding.”
Detective Cleary was unable to confirm the authenticity of these sightings. “The problem they ran into was people were seeing him, saying they saw him in some place,” he said. I’ve come to believe there is.”
Some of the eyewitness accounts reported to authorities were from nearby towns. “They will say, ‘I saw him here. [police] I checked in and they couldn’t catch up with him,” said Cleary. “They were one step behind at the start of that investigation.”
Patti Heickel, who was only 13 at the time, told Dateline that her parents hoped she would find Karl. He was trying to figure out where he was – who he was with.
The vacation was very difficult for Heikel. “It was just torture for my dad. It was hard on my parents,” said Patty. “Christmas came and he wasn’t there. He’s on vacation.”
Dillon Geshel told Dateline that random and unsubstantiated sightings of Carl have continued for weeks. “But it’s nothing for the police,” he said. “And then he was 11 months old when a bird hunter found him hunting in the woodlands northeast of the Heights and found torn clothes.”
An article published in the Daily Mining Gazette on October 4, 1982 states: One mile east of Centennial Heights. ”
Dillon Geschel described the area where the bodies were found. “According to a police report, Karl’s remains were found northeast of Centennial.
Heights,” he said. “It was somewhere near Centennial Mine No. 6 tailings dam, which police reports sometimes refer to as the ‘old dam patch.’ ”
An article in the Daily Mining Gazette reported that “state police combed the area and found skeletal remains and hair.” Sergeant John Allid of the Calumet State Police Department. The county coroner, Dr. Howard Otto, confirmed that the body belonged to a young man.
According to the article, the same detective, John Allid, also said: he died “
The Date Line asked current detective Jeremy Cleary about the area where the evidence was found. “They really don’t have a scene, do they? rice field. “At that point, they had no clue.”
After the remains were identified as Karl’s, the family submitted a death certificate to the court in 1983. “To make it look like a closure,” Det said. Cleary said. “And the court agreed to do so.”
“It appears they have closed the case unofficially,” Det. Cleary told Dateline. “It’s still an open case, but they burned the evidence they had and returned some of the remains to the family for burial.”
This means that the original evidence collected at the scene is currently unavailable. Detective Cleary said he was not aware of any DNA that could help solve the case. “Looking back, it’s really sad,” he added.
According to both Patti Heikel and John Karvonen, a longtime Calumet resident and business owner, it is speculated that Karl was planning to visit his friend Billy Langdon the night he disappeared. increase. Between the time Carl went missing and his body found, Billy committed suicide. Some thought this meant that Billy may have been involved in Carl’s disappearance.
“Personally, I never thought Billy Langdon had anything to do with my brother’s disappearance,” Patti said. “I knew Billy very well. He was a very gentle young man. He was a bit wild, but I don’t think Billy did anything to his brother.”
John Karvonen agreed. “It’s a shame that so many people have Billie as this kind of person in their heads,” he told Dateline.
Detective Cleary told Dateline that after Billy’s suicide, police investigated his possible involvement in the case. “But they did more research after the suicide.”
Detective Cleary said police also investigated another person. It was the man who worked for Karl’s uncle, Paul Heikel Sr., at the Mr. Radiator Transmission Shop. “Personally, I don’t think he had anything to do with it,” he told Det. Cleary said. “The information I have is completely separate from him.”
Detective Cleary said the position at the Calumet, Michigan post is fairly new. He told Dateline that he’s been gathering some new clues since Dillon Geschel started taking interest in the case.
Detectives told Dateline that they hope to close the case. “I call it warm.”
Dillon Geschel hopes his research will help uncover more answers about the boy who went missing years ago.
the information he gathered website It details the case.
Patti Heikel hopes Dillon’s efforts will help put an end to her family. I was. “I would be very happy if something came out of this and someone finally came forward and said they knew what happened to my brother.”
Patty and Carl’s father passed away in 2017. Patty said her mother is elderly and she still wants answers. “I think she’s had a hard time since her brother went missing,” Patti said. She said, “Halloween is hard for her every year.”
Patty is also hard. “I freaked out at Halloween until my kids were over 11,” she said.
Patty hopes the recent interest in her brother’s case, brought about by the work of Dillon Geschel, will lead to answers. she said. “But they don’t know what happened to him, so it was never really closed down at all,” she said. “Give your mother some peace.”
If you have information regarding the disappearance and death of Karl Heikel, please contact Sergeant Cleary of the Michigan Police Calumet Post at 906-337-5145.
https://www.nbcnews.com/dateline/michigan-librarian-dedicated-41-year-old-halloween-cold-case-n1300369 41-year-old Michigan librarian dedicated to Halloween cold cases