Family remembers Sara Knight 1 year after murder

A vigil for Sara Lee Knight in Gladwin on the one-year anniversary of her death. (Jan. 11, 2016)


GLADWIN, Mich. (WOOD) — A year after Sara Lee Knight was murdered in her Allegan County home, the suspect, her husband Harold “Butch” Knight, is still on the run and the trail is cold.

On the one-year anniversary of her death, friends and family of Sara Knight gathered for a vigil in Gladwin on Michigan’s east side.

During the late 1980s and most of the 90s, Sara Knight and her family lived just a few blocks from the courthouse in Gladwin. She and her daughter would often pass by a war memorial there on their way to the local park. That was where Monday’s vigil was held.

An undated courtesy photo of Sara Knight.
An undated courtesy photo of Sara Knight.

“My mom used to bring us here when we were kids. It’s on our way to the park so we would stop. And we have family members on the wall, and we’d look at them and stuff,” her daughter, Roxanne Harris, told 24 Hour News 8.

She said that Butch Knight is the reason her mother and father split up in the mid-90s.

Sara Knight’s mother, Carolyn Clore, still lives in Gladwin.

“How beautiful she was, inside and out. And all the people loved her,” she replied when asked what she remembers most about her daughter.

Clore said she didn’t get along with Butch Knight and that he “didn’t want Sara to have anything to do with any of us.” She’s holding out hope that authorities can still track down her son-in-law.

“I’m trying to be (hopeful). I’m trying to go let loose of some of the bitterness I have,” she said. “It’s not going to do me any good.”

Clore was among the family and friends braving the bitter cold to light candles, say a prayer and most of all, show that they’re still fighting for justice. They made signs that read, “Justice for Sara Lee.”

Butch Knight is accused of strangling Sara in their Fennville-area home on Jan. 11, 2015. 24 Hour News 8 learned last year that he sent a package to her family just days after her murder. Monday night, her mother revealed part of what was inside.

“I got a letter from him, from Butch, and he said that he was smarter than the police and he wouldn’t go to jail until he was ready. I thought that letter would upset police enough to want catch him. But he’s making a fool of them,” Clore said.

Butch hasn’t been spotted since just days after the murder, when he was in Rangeley, Maine — not far from where he and Sara Knight once lived. He had died his mustache black to change his appearance.

LEFT: An updated photo of Harold Knight with a dyed mustache. (Courtesy: Allegan County Sheriff's Office) RIGHT: A photo of Knight before changing his appearance.
LEFT: An updated photo of Harold Knight with a dyed mustache. (Courtesy: Allegan County Sheriff’s Office) RIGHT: A photo of Knight before changing his appearance.

Detectives said he may have been using his late wife’s Facebook account at one time. Last summer, investigators even looked into the possibility that he was living with the Amish.

The leads have all fizzled out. Harris said she hasn’t heard much good news from investigators since.

“Not a whole lot,” she said. “They don’t know where he’s at. And we haven’t had anything concrete in a long time.”

The family also made pink T-shirts that say “Justice for Sara Lee” in an effort raise money to fund a reward for any information that may lead to Knight’s arrest.

“People talk for money and maybe somebody will come forward,” Harris said. “Somebody’s got to be helping him. You know there’s got to be something more to this. He can’t just be hiding out in a cave. Somebody knows where he’s at.”

Clore said she won’t be able to move on with her life until her daughter’s killer is caught. Until that happens, she’s focused on honoring Sara Knight.

“All I got to do is look at her picture. I go to bed telling her goodbye and waking up telling her hi. I’ll never lose her. She’ll always be with me,” Clore said.

Allegan County detectives said they will meet with U.S. Marshals Tuesday to go over the case. They said they still get tips, even as recently as Monday. Still, they have no idea where Butch Knight, 67, may be.

If you have any information, you’re asked to call the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office at 269.673.0500 or Silent Observer at 800.554.3633.

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Online:

Justice for Sara Lee GoFundMe page

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