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Farmington Hills police work to crack decades-old cold cases with new tip webpage

darlene Mckenzie
Posted at 11:16 PM, Mar 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-10 10:29:26-05

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — The Farmington Hills Police Department is working to solve seven decades-old cold cases with a new tip webpage.

The webpage, which the department recently launched, is specifically dedicated to seven victims in cases dating back to 1974. The department also launched a missing persons page to bring attention to active investigations into disappearances.

"Our goal is to let the families know we will never forget their loved ones, and let the perpetrators know we are dedicated to ensuring justice," said Farmington Hills Police Chief Jeff King in a Thursday release. "I hope that putting this information out to the public will bring new information. The passing of time allows for decreased pressure for an otherwise reluctant witness to come forward."

Darlene McKenzie, who was 15 years old when she went missing in 1975, is one of the seven people listed on the tip page.

"Not to be able to have a parent come to school or see you go to prom or my mom see me get married, meet her grandchildren... It’s devastating," said the victim's daughter Carlita Ransom.

Ransom says her mother left home one night in 1975 and never returned. Police found a body along I-696 in June of 1975 with no identification. After the case went cold, police buried the human remains as a Jane Doe who was killed via strangulation.

In 2017, DNA evidence helped to finally identify the Jane Doe as Darlene McKenzie. However, the person responsible still has not been found.

"It’s heartbreaking to know that someone has actually done this to your loved one and that person could still be walking the street. You could be talking to that person," said Ransom.

The tip page created by Farmington Hills Police detailed profiles of the seven victims, their photos, and when they went missing. Police say they're hopeful the effort will bring in new information to finally solve the cases.

"A lot of people need closure and I’m glad to be able to help because that means my mother's story doesn’t die. As much as we can get the word out to people maybe someone will find it in their heart to come forward or just to confess," said Ransom.

Ransom says if the webpage is successful, her family will be able to begin healing.

" I can’t say my life would go on and be normal but at least I’ll have some kind of relief to know that that person can no longer do this to anyone else," said Ransom.

Anyone with information about any of the seven cases, can submit a tip through the website or call the tip line at (248) 871-2610.