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Police Solve Decades-Old Cold Case With Help of Western Michigan University Students

Students at Western Michigan University have helped Michigan State Police solve another decades-old cold case.

We profiled the cold case program at Western Michigan University this past Thursday as part of our Unsolved series.

On Monday, the Three Rivers Police Department in Southwest Michigan announced an arrest in the murder of Cathy Swartz. Police say she was killed in her apartment 35 years ago and the case went cold until the 2000s when DNA technology helped develop a profile of Cathy’s possible killer.


Then in 2022, forensic genetic genealogy helped lead to a breakthrough. Police arrested Robert Waters over the weekend in South Carolina, who will be brought back to Michigan to face charges.

Western Michigan University students helped detectives organize more than 10,000 documents in the case, which police say greatly helped with their investigation.

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