Oakland County Child Killer Claims One Last Victim, Still on the Loose

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1976 Oakland County, Michigan was a terrifying place to be a child. A rash of child abductions and murders spanning a year left locals terrified.

12-year-old Mark Stebbins was the first victim of the killer that February. Mark went missing from the American Legion Hall and was never seen alive again. Four days later his body was discovered in a snowbank outside Southfield, Michigan. The corner reported evidence of sexual assault and strangulation as the cause of death.

The following December Jill Robinson ran away from home after a heated argument with her mother. 10-year-old Jill packed a backpack and ran away for what her mom assumed would be a few hours. The following day her bike was found outside of a local hobby store in Royal Oak just ten minutes from where Mark’s body was found.

Her body was found laid out neatly in the snow within sight of the Troy police station. The cause of death was a single gunshot fired at close range. Police did not immediately connect it to Mark’s murder as her body was found unharmed except for the wound.

A Serial Killer on the Loose

Just a month later, the killer claimed a third victim. Kristine Mihelich disappeared from a 7-Eleven around 3 PM. Her mother reported the 10-year-old missing several hours later. The girl wasn’t found until nineteen days later.

The coroner concluded that she had passed less than 24 hours before her body was discovered, meaning the killer had kept her alive for 18 days after abducting her. The cause of death was suffocation.

While it took police up until the third victim to make a connection, once they did a manhunt was on. The victims had all been laid out in similar fashion and were found with white dog hair on their clothes.

They issued a warning to residents to keep their children from walking around alone which was common in such a sleepy county. Residents were on high alert and kept their children under lockdown at all times.

The Killer Claims One Last Victim

Unfortunately for Timothy King, the killer wasn’t finished yet. Timothy disappeared two months after Kristine while skateboarding to the nearest drugstore. A call came in from a woman claiming to have seen Timothy talking to a middle-aged white male driving a blue AMC Gremlin.

Everyone fitting that description was questioned but nothing ever came of it.

There are two other possible victims of the Oakland County Child Killer that have not been confirmed. While they fit the timeline and profile of a victim, some evidence leads investigators to believe this killer wasn’t involved.

Around 2 dozen arrests were made but no one was the obvious murderer. There were several false leads and even some DNA matched but investigators couldn’t make anything stick. In 2013 a blue AMC Gremlin was found buried in a farmer’s field.

Despite that and several suspects with matching DNA found on the victims, the Oakland County Child Killer remains on the loose.