Group pushes for charges in Erik Cross case in Lansing

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

The Justice for Erik Cross advocacy group stands on the steps of the Capitol to call for charges in the 1983 cold case death. (Sept. 18, 2019)

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kalamazoo County group fighting for justice in a cold case death took their mission to Michigan’s Capitol Wednesday.

The Justice for Erik Cross group is pushing for Attorney General Dana Nessel to press charges in the 1983 murder of Erik Cross. Wednesday, they brought their campaign to Lansing where they held a peaceful walk outside the Capitol.

Cross was hit by a vehicle and killed while he was walking home from a party in Brady Township near Vicksburg.

In the fall of 2017, then-Undersheriff Paul Matyas announced he had requested arrest warrants for murder for five suspects in Cross’ death. However, no charges were filed.

In 2018, Cross’ sister said she was calling on then-Attorney General Bill Schuette to take the case and prosecute the five people allegedly involved in Cross’ death.

Then in February, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office announced the homicide investigation had been referred to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office. However, no charges have been announced.

“If you think about this in terms of if this was your child that it happened to, what would you do? While this wasn’t my child that this happened to, it did happen in my community. It happened to somebody I would say, because of all the years this has gone on, it has become a very famous case in our area. Erik’s picture is up everywhere in our area. It’s something to us. We want to see justice — we have to see justice,” said Rich Deneve with the advocacy group.

Earlier this month, the Justice for Erik Cross group began installing five billboards in Kalamazoo County and one in billboard urging Nessel to help in the case.

A spokesperson for the attorney general said at that time they understand and appreciate the group’s passion but have no further comment.

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