Saginaw Cold Case Unit Investigation Leads to Conviction in 19-Year-Old HomicideContact: D/Tpr. Bob Dunham, MSP Saginaw City VCTF, Cold Case Homicide Unit, (989) 759-1464Agency: State Police
SAGINAW. On Friday, Sept. 23, a jury in Saginaw County found Rodney Alton Slayton guilty of the 1992 murder of Lynette Nancy Gibson. The verdict comes as a result of an investigation lead by the Saginaw Violent Crime Task Force (VCTF), Cold Case Homicide Unit.
Slayton was found guilty of First Degree Premeditated Murder in front of Circuit Court Judge Fred Borchard. After a two-week trial, the jury took only 35 minutes to return a guilty verdict in the case.
On Feb. 2, 1992, Gibson's body was found in a parking lot of an establishment, then named Ewald's Bar, near Court Street in the 100 block of Niagara Street. After a lengthy investigation, the original investigators ran out of leads and the case went cold.
In April 2009, VCTF investigators re-opened the case. After additional interviews and the use of new DNA technology, a suspect was identified; and working closely with the Saginaw County Prosecutor's Office charges were issued. Testifying in the case were original detectives from 1992, current VCTF detectives, family members of the suspect and current and retired MSP Crime Lab personnel who worked on the case for more than 19 years.
The investigative work by the Saginaw VCTF has resulted in convictions the four cold cases it has investigated since 2008, when the task force was formed. The team is made up of detectives and troopers from the MSP and at times, detectives from other agencies.