Benton Harbor DPS: Fatal stabbing victim found ‘4 or 5’ days later

Posted at 4:30 PM, Mar 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-02 16:42:37-05

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — The Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety says a man who was fatally stabbed “four or five days ago” remained undiscovered in the home where it happened until police found him Saturday morning.

At 1:22 a.m. Saturday, officers found the victim lying in the basement with a stab wound to his chest. The house is at 182 Lake Street.

And police say a  suspect who was “immediately identified and taken into custody” was the victim’s roommate. DPS identifies the suspect as Jerry Lee Osler, age 60. And the victim was identified by police as 57-year-old Sylvester Booth.

Investigators say in a news release the stabbing stemmed from a dispute between the roommates over money: “According to the confession, the victim was killed approximately 4-5 days ago and remained inside the home until located by the police this morning.”

Benton Harbor police say Osler is being held in the Berrien County Jail. An autopsy was being conducted Saturday on Booth.