Man in Minnesota charged with 1983 homicide in Michigan

Published 7:01 am Saturday, March 21, 2020

WHITE CLOUD, Mich. — A man in Minnesota has been charged with murder in Michigan in the presumed death of a man who disappeared in 1983, authorities said Friday.

Roy Snell, 55, of Fridley, Minnesota, has been in the Hennepin County jail since March 11. He soon will be transported to Michigan after waiving extradition, the attorney general’s office said.

Richard Atwood was 25 when he was last seen in White Cloud, Michigan. His girlfriend, Debra Cain, told police that she returned to their trailer and noticed that his fishing gear was missing.

Email newsletter signup

Atwood’s car was recovered two months later in October 1983. Investigators said they discovered blood and human tissue linked to him. His body hasn’t been found.

Snell has made incriminating statements to others over the years, and his DNA was found on cigarette butts in the car, according to an affidavit by Det. Sgt. Scott Rios of the Newaygo County sheriff’s department.

Robbery apparently was a motive, Rios said.

It wasn’t immediately known if Snell had a lawyer in Minnesota who could comment.

“One can hardly imagine what the Atwood family has felt over the past decades,” Newaygo County prosecutor Worth Stay said. “These charges are the next steps.”