Special Report: Unsolved – The Melissa Simmons Case Part 2

*This is part 2 of a 2-part series. For Part 1 click here

In the summer of 1993, 15-year-old Melissa Simmons was found dead in the Pere Marquette River in Mason County.

Her death was ruled a homicide, but the case still hasn’t been solved.

Investigators have never been able to determine an exact cause of death, but did rule out drowning.

Law enforcement have received a number of tips surrounding this case, but it remains an open investigation.

Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole says there were plenty of theories about what happened to Melissa Simmons in the days, weeks and months following her death in June 1993.

“There was a theory that maybe she had gotten tangled up with some young men in the community, which never planned out. There was some concern about some family members that was rumored that didn’t lead us anywhere initially. Our investigation has taken us outside of the state of Michigan, it’s certainly taken us outside of Mason County and obviously it’s taken us to a lot of places inside of Mason County,” said Cole.

And tips continue to trickle in.

“We’ve had a lot of conversations with people who have second, and third and fourth hand information, but unfortunately those conversations never lead anywhere, but there are people who do have first-hand information. I am 100% confident there are people close to Melissa who know what happened,” said Cole.

The passage of time has done two things for this case. It’s added to the frustration that whoever killed Melissa Simmons is still out there. But it’s also given rise to new technology that could finally help solve this case.

“The most frustrating thing for me is there are people here who know first hand what happened and they are choosing not to speak and that’s a choice, that is a choice, make no mistake about it. And it’s time for people to help us seek justice for Melissa,” said Cole.

The question of what happened to Melissa Simmons is one that has hung over the town of Scottville for nearly three decades now, and it’s a case never far from the minds of law enforcement in Mason County.

“We want to get it solved for the citizens  of this county who every anniversary, every birthday of Melissa’s that comes and goes the anniversary of her disappearance comes and goes there are people who have questions and they deserve answers,” said Cole.

Answers that have been sought ever since the night of June 23, 1993, by both detectives, and those who call Scottville home.

“If you do know anything and you haven’t said something it’s probably weighing on you too. It’s hurting Melissa’s family that you are not coming forward. It’s hurting Melissa’s justice that you are not coming forward. Closure is really what it’s all about. That’s all we need. Closure and justice. At this point there is nothing that means more,” said one woman who calls Scottville home.

If you know anything about what happened to Melissa Simmons, call the Mason County Sheriff’s Office at (231) 843-3475.