Cadillac family helps break open 40-year-old cold case

The bodies of James Hendricks and Kimberlin Mills were found in 1978.

WEXFORD COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- A Wexford County family helped break open a nearly 40-year-old cold case.

In 1978, the bodies of two people were found just miles apart in two different states but remained unidentified until 2017.

In May 2017, Missouri State Highway Patrol investigators re-ran fingerprints from the cold case and got a hit from the Michigan Department of Corrections.

The man's body, found in Missouri, was identified as James Hendricks from Flint.

Hendricks family, who lives in Cadillac, was contacted and told investigators about Hendricks' then-girlfriend Kimberlin Mills of Millington.

Mills body had been found twelve miles from Hendricks but in Arkansas, so the investigations were never linked until now.

The pair was never reported missing because they were thought to have fled the state to escape Hendrick's parole.

It was Hendricks’ sister June Slavik who now lives in Cadillac that helped with this big break in the case.

“If it hadn't been for my DNA being in there this case would've never got solved,” said Slavik.

She says she’s trying to help get this case solved.

“There's got to be more to this there is more to it who did it why did they did it,” said Slavik.

Michigan State Police believe the pair were both murdered by the same suspect.

DNA was taken from Mills' brother in Maine and confirmed the remains from Arkansas were Mills.

MSP said new fingerprint technology allows them to compare lower quality and single digit prints.

This helped break the case because multiple fingerprints weren't available on Hendricks' remains.

“I'd really like to stress to families of missing people that no case is too old and if you do have somebody missing in your life that you should be following up with law enforcement and making sure that they're still investigating the case,” said Det.Sgt. Sarah Krebs with Michigan State Police.

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