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Calhoun County cold case reopened with help from Olivet College students

Posted at 6:30 PM, Nov 15, 2021

HOMER TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office detectives are reopening a homicide cold case after students from Olivet College’s Criminal Justice program identified potential leads.

According to detectives, a dead body was found on Sept. 25, 1988, on 29 Mile Rd near V Drive South in Homer Township. In the early 2000s, the body was identified as James William Burton reopening the case. But it was not long before the case went cold again.


Under Professor Phil Reed students identified potential leads as part of their curriculum. Now, detectives are seeking information on Burton.

Burton was born Sept. 16, 1935, in Bland County to Benajmin H. Burton and Georgia Palmer. He was the youngest of four kids and graduated from Narrows High School in Giles County.

The now-deceased man formerly ran a drywall business called Silver Fox Drywalling in Anchorage, Alaska in the early 1970s.

Those with information are urged to contact Detectives Jon Pignataro and Dave Homminga at 269-781-0880.

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