TV show could generate new tips in murder case

Allegan County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It has been four years since a 48-year-old nurse and mother was killed in rural Allegan County.

It was a bizarre case. Sara Knight’s husband called police and confessed, but took off and has since eluded capture.

Allegan County Undersheriff Mike Larsen was the detective captain in January 2015 and was the first called out to a home along 166th Avenue in Ganges Township near Fennville. Authorities had gotten a phone call that a woman was dead there. The caller did not leave his name, but directed police to the scene.

“It was so out of the ordinary that some of us thought this might have been some kind of ambush or setup,” Lasrsen said.

The keys were on the front stoop. Inside, there were instructions, including for how to contact family members.

And there was Sara Knight, dead of a gunshot wound. Her sheet-covered body had been there two days.

Investigators followed the suspect, Knight’s husband Harold “Butch” Knight, to Maine, where the couple had previously lived. They found his car abandoned in a Walmart parking lot and the hotel he stayed. The last time he was seen was on video surveillance at the store where he had changed his looks, dying his mustache. Police tracked him to the Canadian border, which is where he may have gone.

Not long after his wife’s death, Knight mailed a package to her family, taunting them and saying he would never be caught. He included instructions for her funeral and money to pay for it.

“That was part of the arrogance,” Larsen said.

In the last four years, investigators have taken hundreds of tips on the case.

“Nothing’s panned out yet,” Larsen said. “We’ve followed up on leads from Gulf Shores, Alabama, to deep down into Florida, up into Canada, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana. Every tip we get, we follow up on.”

But since about three weeks after the murder, none of them have been viable.

On Wednesday night, the case was featured on a new show on the Investigation Discovery Channel called “In Pursuit with John Walsh,” which stars the former host of “America’s Most Wanted.”

Larsen said with a case that crosses the country, having a national broadcast is helpful.

“Anywhere from 15 to 30 leads will come in from that and we will work with the agencies that reside in the areas those pertain to and follow up on them,” Larsen said. “That’s about what we’re down to at this point.”

Investigators say that since it’s been so long since Knight, now 70, was spotted, it’s quite possible that he is no longer even alive. But dead or alive, they say, they won’t stop until they solve this case.

Sara Knight’s family will be watching the show together in Lapeer.

Anyone who knows where Butch Knight may be or who has any more information on the case is asked to call the U.S. Marshals at 1.877.926.8332.

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