Court documents: Woman confesses to murdering Janna Kelly

Posted at 3:32 PM, Apr 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-28 22:40:10-04

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. -- A 52-year-old Kent County woman confessed to the 2007 murder of Janna Kelly, according to court documents obtained by FOX 17.

Robin Lynn Root said she pushed Kelly during an argument at Kelly's Grand Rapids home on Dec. 4, 2007, according to court documents.  Kelly was unconscious when Root allegedly put her in the trunk of her car.

Root allegedly returned the next day, saw Kelly was deceased and drove to Ottawa County to dispose of her body.    Kelly's body was found in the 16000 block of Pierce Street in Grand Haven Township on March 13, 2008.

According to documents, Ottawa County detective Venus Repper testified in court that Root also allegedly disposed of Kelly's cell phone and other belongings and parked her car a short distance away from Kelly's home.  The car was found by police on Lee Street west of Plymouth on Dec. 6, 2007.

Grand Rapids Police contacted Root earlier that same day, and she agreed to come in for questioning.  According to court documents, she told investigators at that time that her only contact with Kelly was a phone call the evening of Dec. 4, 2007.

Following a recent investigation by the Ottawa County cold case team and GRPD, Root was interviewed again Monday about Kelly's murder and confessed to the crime, officials say.

Root was charged with open murder Tuesday in Grand Haven District Court, according to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.

According to court documents, Kelly had evicted Root in March 2007 after Root was behind on rent by roughly $2,900.  On the night of Kelly's murder, Root allegedly told her that she was unable to pay back the money.

A detective testified in court that Root shoved Kelly after Kelly expressed frustration over her inability to pay back the money.