Homicide Victim: ‘A Beautiful Person, Regardless Of Her Past’

Posted at 10:49 PM, Aug 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-11 19:15:24-04


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–Police are now investigating the death of 47-year-old Marie Nettles as a homicide after she was found dead Thursday on Plaster Creek Trail in Grand Rapids.

Nettles had a history of arrests related to prostitution, but police don’t know yet if that kind of activity had anything to do with her death.

Leslie King,who knew Nettles, says she wants people to know that just because of her past she wasn’t a bad person.

“Another one gone, and no one understands the pain and no one understands that she was wounded. You look at what she’s doing but what drove her there?  What drove her that far that she couldn`t come back?” she said.

King has made it her mission to help women caught in the cycle of prostitution, once herself living the same reality after being sexually exploited for years.

During King’s outreach on the streets she talked with Nettles several times.

“She would just come up to me, give me a hug and I still prayed for her.”

Records show Nettles was arrested for prostitution five times, the latest in 2008. Lt. Patrick Merrill with the Grand Rapids Police Department says they have had several contacts with her recently and she still appeared to be involved in similar activity.

“Regardless of what her lifestyle choices were she certainly didn’t deserve to be murdered,” he said. Police say although her body was found on Plaster Creek Trail they don’t think  she was killed there.

“She was was a beautiful person inside and out, no matter what she did and to be thrown away like that and be murdered so viciously. She’s somebody’s daughter, mother, sister and friend. She was a human being with problems but still in all she was a beautiful person,” said King.

If you have any information call Silent Observer at 616-744-2345 or Grand Rapids Police.