Family of Erik Cross seeking help from state in cold case

Posted at 9:02 PM, Mar 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-13 21:02:16-04

VICKSBURG, Mich. - It has been 35 years since Erik Cross died. His sister Jackie Mitchell, upset no arrests have been made, is now taking her fight to the state.

"It means so much to see that so many people still remember Erik and care about justice coming," Mitchell said at a rally Tuesday morning in Vicksburg.

She is calling on the state to help solve her brother's decades-old murder case.

"I'm hoping Attorney General Bill Schuette will be able to bring that justice to our family," said Mitchell.

Erik Cross, just 16, was found dead by his father near their home in June 1983.

"I remember the call coming in initially as a hit and run accident and we all talked about it at Portage," says  former Kalamzaoo County Undersheriff Pali Matyas.

Police quickly identified suspects, but for years there was no movement. Then, last October, Matyas forwarded his findings to the prosecutor, requesting charges.

"What's more disappointing is you have a victim out here and you have a community out here, there hasn't  been any contact," Matyas says.

So Jackie, surrounded by supporters, walked several blocks from the rally to the post office, mailing a letter to Schuette, asking for help.

"I do feel relief that we've done what we could at this stage and time to try to get some fresh eyes on the case," Mitchell says.

She hopes Schuette will meet with the family and detectives on the case, including Matyas, who's retired but promised the family to help bring Erik the justice he deserves.

"I was always going to work with them so we could get a final conclusion on this matter," says Matyas, "and I'm keeping my word."

He says it's not unheard of for an attorney general to take cases like Erik Cross's. He says Schuette has people in his office who specifically work on cold cases. He feels the family has a good case where charges can be brought against suspects.