WHITE CLOUD, Mich. (WOOD) - She is the sister of a "person of interest" in Amanda Lankey's 2004 murder, and she's a former White Cloud police officer.
On Thursday, Candace Wallis-Baumgartner was arraigned on charges of lying to detectives investigating the case -- though she's not accused of covering up for her brother in the death.
"When I seen her, I couldn't even look at her," said Amanda's sister, Wanda Foster, who watched the arraignment with family and friends. "So full of anger every time I look at her."
Wallis-Baumgartner is charged with two counts of perjury -- crimes punishable by up to life in prison because they are connected to a capital case.
The first charge had nothing to do with the murder. She's accused of lying to detectives while under an investigative subpoena when they asked if she'd covered for her brother in an old drunk driving case.
The second alleged lie is connected. She's accused of lying about whether she'd been asked to help at the scene when Amanda's body was found.
Amanda Lankey, 13, disappeared from the home of Wallis-Baumgartner's brother, Cecil Wallis Sr., in 2004. Wallis-Baumgartner was a White Cloud officer at the time, and police reports show she was involved in the investigation when Amanda was still listed as a missing person. It's not clear what role she played.
Amanda's body was found two weeks later in the Manistee National Forest, and Cecil Wallis Sr. eventually was identified as a person of interest.
Wallis-Baumgartner's attorney, David Dodge, says she denies the perjury allegations.
"There's no claim that she was involved in the disappearance and death," Dodge said after the arraignment. "That's not what this case is about."
She denied "any type of unprofessionalism" as an officer and she "did not cover up for her brother," Dodge said.
Her brother hanged himself last fall -- the day he was to appear in court on unrelated rape charges involving two 13-year-old girls.
Wallis-Baumgartner's son, Marcus Wallis, also is charged with perjury, but court officials say he hasn't been arrested and is still wanted on warrants.
"There's others who know about Amanda and what happened that night," Amanda's sister said. "And I understand some people are going to be afraid to come forward, but it's time. I'm tired of waiting for it."
When asked what she would say to witnesses who aren't coming forward, she said: "Don't be a coward. If you were scared of Big Cecil, you know, he's not here anymore. You can do it now."
The rink will be open that day from 3-9 p.m.
Bethany Murk, 48, was arrested Thursday following a drug bust in Van Buren County.
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