The documents from the previous post were from a FOIA response from the current office of the Oakland County Prosecutor. They are posted as received on my blog (see Archives, February 2022). Jessica Cooper’s office had to hand over documents she had willingly and easily handed over to the press. This after fighting my dad tooth and nail in court to refuse to hand over a single piece of paper. The documents I posted in February 2022 were not among those Cooper handed over to the press and then had to hand over to my dad.
No, these documents had been stowed at the office of Sheriff Mike Bouchard. I believe they sat there for a decade. And while they are mostly worthless, the very fact that an assistant prosecuting attorney working for Jessica Cooper took these files over to Bouchard’s office to thwart FOIA rules tells you all you need to know about how Oakland County does business. I believe this attorney still works for the county.
I have mentioned numerous times how in July 2021 I filed a FOIA request with the Oakland County Sheriff’s office and it was denied online within minutes. The explanation was that they had no records in the OCCK case and to check with the Michigan State Police. https://catherinebroad.blog/2021/07/23/worlds-fastest-foia-response/. Not only was this during a time when the office was stashing some OCCK files from Cooper, I have seen many documents detailing their participation (such as it was) in this case over the decades, including documents generated by that office. I offer this letter for consideration of the laughable idea that the sheriff’s office would be involved in this case but somehow not keep a single record or videotape:
On its face, a semi-reasonable conclusion might be that the sheriff’s office immediately sends all records to the MSP for consideration and filing and that’s why they have no records in the OCCK case. But this would require the ridiculous assumption that the agency keeps no records to refer back to and it also requires the incorrect assumption that this agency works well with the MSP. Bouchard’s office’s FOIA response was an obvious and flagrant lie.
Interspersed among the OCP’s February 2022 FOIA response are a few interesting documents, including this transcript of an interview of Dr. Richard E. Olson by detective/sergeants from the MSP and Charlotte Day, a crime lab scientist at the state lab. It is undated, refers to the “orig. date Jan 21, 1977” (the date Kristine Mihelich’s body was found) and clearly took place before my brother was abducted on March 16, 1977.
The interview took place at Dr. Olson’s “residence in Luzerne, Michigan.” I could not find anything about him online, but it is clear from the transcript that he was a pathologist. He had some extremely interesting observations at this point in the timeline.
In the interview, Sgt. Krease explains that “[w]e had a little slight mix-up on whether there was sperm present on the last one and this was confirmed that there wasn’t any.” (Page “IV”). At page 16 Sgt. Rivard offers up the kids’ clothing for the doctor “to take a look at it.” The doctor wisely asks “There is no danger of my displacing any evidence?” Charlotte Day assures him that “No, I think everything has been taken off that could be. Anything that is there now should have been _____ contamination later.”
Now as much as I would like to think that this evidence was in sealed plastic bags, it’s 1977 and these people cannot foresee DNA or DNA evidence. Neither lab scientist Charlotte Day nor lab scientist David Metzger are going to be inducted into the crime lab hall of fame. The MSP and the state lab know how badly the evidence was mishandled and stored in this case and this interview with Dr. Olson was probably not the last time this evidence was so negligently mishandled. That may be a big reason why they don’t want to send the evidence to a third-party lab.
Dr. Olson states near the end of the interview: “There is every reason to believe that it will continue until we can get the person. That is the worst part. I’m surprised that we’ve gone through this last month [February] without someone showing up. Of course, they may, we don’t know yet.”