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Sheriff: Arrest finally made in 2006 cold case murder

Husband facing charges in stabbing death of his wife, Renee Pagel
Posted at 2:48 PM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 17:24:21-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — An arrest has finally been made in a 13-year-old old murder case.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker and Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young announced at a press conference Thursday that a first-degree murder charge had been filed against Michael Pagel in the August 2006 death of his wife, Renee Beth Pagel.

Young said Pagel was arrested in a traffic stop. He had been living in the Freeland/Saginaw area.

Becker said Thursday that their investigation into Renee Pagel's death was reopened about two years ago. The Michigan State Prosecutor's Association reached out to Becker's office to ask if their cold case team could assist them with any case in particular. Renee Pagel's death was first to come to mind.

That kicked off a new, wide-spanning investigation that included Becker himself reviewing old case materials and issuing new investigative subpoenas.

Details were sparse at the press conference Thursday, Becker saying, "It's been a process and we can't get into too many details at this time."

LaJoye-Young addressed the media as well, giving an outline of the original response and ensuing investigation by the sheriff's office. She said that some new evidence had been found related to the case, but could not elaborate as to what sort of evidence it was.

She declined to say if they had identified any sort of DNA evidence directly linking Michael Pagel to his wife's murder.

The Courtland Township teacher, nurse and mother of three was found stabbed to death in her home in 2006. Sheriff LaJoye-Young said Thursday that investigators had found valuables scattered throughout the family's home, indicating a home invasion gone wrong was unlikely.

LaJoye-Young said the case ran its course and eventually went cold.

Michael Pagel is now lodged at the Kent County Sheriff's Office. He is expected to be arraigned on the murder charge at some point Thursday afternoon.