1983 cold case death back to prosecutors for review

Cross’ body was found in Brandy Township, near Vicksburg, on June 26, 1983

Erik Stirling Cross (Courtesy Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department)


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The police investigation into the cold case death of a Vicksburg teen is now back in the hands of Kalamazoo prosecutors.

The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office handed over its investigation into the 1983 death of Erik Cross this week.

Brenton Spaulding is a primary person of interest in the 16-year-old’s death. In June 2016, he was arrested on separate charges.

Jackie Mitchell was just 12 years old when Cross, her brother, was allegedly murdered. Decades after his death, she still has hope his killer or killers will be brought to justice. Mitchell said she met with Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas Thursday about her brother’s case.

“And then he told me the big news, which was that the sheriff’s department has formally requested arrest warrants on the charge of murder for everyone involved in my brother, Erik’s, murder,” Mitchell told 24 Hour News 8.

Cross’ body was found in Brandy Township, near Vicksburg, on June 26, 1983. He had gone to a party and was walking home when he was hit by a vehicle and killed. Witnesses reported seeing two men and woman in the vehicle.

“They killed him, they panicked, they tried to decide what to do,” Mitchell said. “They hauled him around, brought him back and decided to run over him several times to make it look like a hit-and-run.”

In March 2016, Kalamazoo Co. Undersheriff Paul Matyas said investigators had five suspects in the case.

“I’m happy, I’m relieved, I’m grateful,” Mitchell continued. “I would be jumping for joy when the arrests are made and those people are in jail.”