NEWAYGO, Mich. (WOOD) — Nearly 25 years after Shannon Siders disappeared after a night out with friends, two brothers have been charged with her murder.
Matthew Jones, 44, of Grant, and Paul Jones, 42, of Newaygo, were arraigned Tuesday in Newaygo, according to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. Each man faces one count of first-degree murder.
“It’s a good day,” Shannon’s father Bob Siders told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday. “It’s not the end. It’s the beginning of the end.”
Shannon Siders,18, was reported missing on July 18, 1989 by her father when she didn’t come home after her night out. Her decomposed body was discovered that October by a hunter in the Manistee National Forest. She had been beaten to death. The case was ruled a homicide.
Authorities say Siders was last seen riding in Paul Jones’ car with his brother Matthew. The Jones brothers told police in 1989 that they had dropped Siders off at her Newaygo home. They were told at one point they were cleared.
The investigation went cold. Then, in 2011, a cold-case task force was assembled to take it up again.
In July 2012, Siders’ body was exhumed from the Newaygo City Cemetery. It was reburied later that year. Police never released what, if any, evidence they found after the exhumation.
And investigators have not said what broke the case.
Family members said a SWAT team arrested the Jones brothers Tuesday morning.
Bob Siders said he is not surprised the brothers are charged with his daughter’s murder. He said they were on the suspect list from the start.
“There was a short list, as I recall, of about five names and they were the first two on it,” Bob Siders said. “There was a set of brothers , which is these guys, a set of cousins and another single individual.”
Bob Siders said the arrests are a relief, but he still has unanswered questions.
“I’d like to know what happened. If these guys really did it — and I believe they did — I’d like to know what happened that made them kill her,” he said. “What went wrong that night that went from some sort of party to a homicide?”
The Jones brothers are being held in the Newaygo County Jail without bond. They are expected back in court on June 26, the Attorney General’s Office said in an email. If convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison.
Paul Jones has been in prison before for home invasion and having an illegal Taser. He also has a couple of marijuana charges on his record. Matthew Jones has a couple of misdemeanor domestic abuses cases on his record.
One family member of the Jones brothers said they can’t believe the brothers are accused of murder, adding that it’s not at all like them.
“I know they could never hurt anyone. They would never hurt anyone,” their sister Heidi Weeks said. “They protected me my whole life, they really love their children and they are good people.”
She said her family also wants justice for Shannon Siders.
“We just want whoever did this to her to be caught, but I just know it’s not my brothers,” she said.
The case is being jointly prosecuted by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and the Newaygo County County Prosecutor’s Office, according to a Tuesday release.
24 Hour News 8’s Leon Hendrix contributed to this report.