A Michigan family finally has the answer they waited 35 years for.

Michigan State Police say they have identified and arrested the man responsible for the 1987 murder of a Niles, Michigan woman.

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In a press conference on February 17, 2022, a Michigan State Police spokesperson announced the arrest of 67-year-old Patrick Wayne Gilham of South Bend, Indiana. Gilham has been charged with open murder and breaking and entering of an occupied dwelling in connection with the 1987 murder of Roxanne Leigh Wood in Niles Township.

Courtesy of the Michigan State Police
Courtesy of the Michigan State Police
Courtesy of the Michigan State Police
Courtesy of the Michigan State Police

Roxanne was just 30-years-old when she was found murdered. She lived at Tam-O-Shanter Lane with her husband at the time. Her husband, Terry Wood, was the one who discovered Roxanne's lifeless body on the couple's kitchen floor on February 20, 1987.

Michigan State Police (MSP) say in the last three decades the case remained open with investigators following up on leads they received. In 2001, a Michigan State Police Cold Case team comprised of one detective sergeant and three trooper investigators began working exclusively on Roxanne's case. By 2002 sadly, the team had to conclude their work without solving the case and without an arrest.

In 2020 Detective Sargent John Moore and Detective Sargent Jason Bailey of the MSP Niles Post Special Investigation Section picked up the case and began aggressively working it. The two reviewed over 3,000 pages of information and conducted new interviews in regard to the case. They put fresh eyes on the evidence originally collected in the case.

At this time Michigan State Police investigators are not saying what led to Gilham being identified as the suspect in the case saying it is to protect the integrity of the case and that many of those details will come to light during the judicial process.

Roxanne's husband lived in the shadow of his wife's murder with many believing he was the culprit. The latest news will hopefully give Roxanne's family the justice they have so long sought.

While MSP investigators believe they have the person responsible they are still asking anyone with information to come forward and contact them at 269-683-4411.

Gilham is in police custody and will be brought back to Michigan. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison.

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