Man charged in 1977 death originally ruled suicide

Raymond Richmond 050516_212031

ONTWA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Cass County Prosecutor’s Office filed murder charges on Thursday in a death that was originally ruled a suicide 38 years ago.

Raymond Robert Richmond was charged with open murder and felony firearm charges for the slaying of Robert Stasiak on Nov. 2, 1977 in Edwardsburg, near the Indiana border, according to a Thursday news release from the Cass County Prosecutor Victor A. Fitz.

Richmond, 57, was arrested Thursday morning in Indiana. He is awaiting extradition back to Michigan.

The charges stem from the reopening of the investigation into Stasiak’s death by the Ontwa Township Edwardsburg Police Department in April 2015. Authorities were able to charge Richmond due to evidence collected during interviews of a number of witnesses from the original investigation, subpoenas and search warrants.

They also exhumed of Stasiak’s body on Nov. 23, 2015, to conduct an autopsy. There was not an autopsy conducted in 1977.

“It’s more elbow grease,” Edwardsburg/Ontwa Township Police Chief Tom Kozal told WNDU, the NBC affiliate out of South Bend, Ind. “This is good, old-fashioned law enforcement.”

Stasiak, 25, was Richmond’s cousin, WNDU says. Thursday, officials couldn’t comment on a possible motive.

He left behind a wife and 2-year-old daughter.

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