CORAL PEARL HALL - 14 yo (1998)/ Charged: Grandmother; Lois Janish - Flint MI

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CORAL PEARL HALL - 14 yo (1998)/ Charged: Grandmother; Lois Janish - Flint MI

Post by TomTerrific0420 on Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:27 am

Twelve years after Coral Hall disappeared from Flint, police are out of leads and neither investigators nor an old friend believe the blonde-haired young teen who vanished in September 1998 is still alive.

"I really think if she was alive she would have come in contact with somebody," said Melissa Jackson, a childhood friend of Hall, who would have turned 26 in September. "I really think something bad happened."




The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children features
this age-progression rendering of how Coral P. Hall might look now.



Hall's disappearance was the subject of several stories in The Flint Journal since 2008 but after an initial rush of tips to police, the case appears to have grown cold again although a community of on-line sleuths continue to turn the case over and discuss it in online forums.


Hall was 14 when she left her grandmother's home and never returned. A friend said later that Hall called her from a pay phone near the White Horse Tavern at the time, telling her there was trouble at home and that she needed to get out of Flint.


But when the friends made the drive that same night from Michigan's Thumb, Hall was nowhere to be found.


Flint Police Detective Sgt. Greg Hosmer said the missing person case remains open but investigators have had few new leads to follow.


In the last year, Hosmer said, DNA samples have been taken from Hall's surviving grandmother -- something that could help with the identification of a body in the future. Hosmer said the only other development recently came in an e-mail from a man who   included a picture of a young woman on a bed that the writer said resembled Hall.


Hosmer said police don't believe the woman was Hall.


"We would follow up on any information" or tip, the detective sergeant said. "We will follow up if we have anything."


Hosmer can be reached at (810) 237-6945.


Among the tips police have received in the past about Hall:


• The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has said she may have been in the Los Angeles, Calif., area in the company of an adult man. Hall's grandmother, Lois Janish, told the organization in 1998 that two adult men living in her home often made statements about taking Hall to California.


• A former vending machine operator and the founder of a missing children organization both told The Flint Journal in 2008 that they reported possible sightings of Hall in northern Indiana several years earlier.


• Police have also checked on possible sightings of Hall in Utah and at a Pontiac pizzeria.


Hall lived with Janish after a Genesee County Probate judge found her mother, the late Sharon A. Jones, was unable to care for her daughter.


Jones died of a drug overdose on Dec. 23, 1996, when Hall was just 12 years old and courts records show she went from school to school as she and her grandmother struggled to make ends meet before her disappearance.


The Doe Network, which works to solve missing person cases, has information on its Web site that indicates Hall may have run away because she feared she would have been forced into foster care after missing too much school in 1998.


"It's frustrating (trying to find out what happened to Hall)," Jackson said. "It's been so long ... People have moved away and are gone.


"I really feel like somebody killed her," she said. "I cry about it all the time."
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Re: CORAL PEARL HALL - 14 yo (1998)/ Charged: Grandmother; Lois Janish - Flint MI

Post by mom_in_il on Thu May 15, 2014 9:42 pm

Childhood friend of Flint teenager Coral Hall says 'It feels like a dream,' following grandmother's arrest on murder charge in 14-year-old case

By Roberto Acosta | racosta1@mlive.com
on July 31, 2013 at 6:45 PM
updated July 31, 2013 at 8:56 PM

FLINT, MI – After searching for clues into the disappearance of 14-year-old Coral Hall for nearly as long as she lived, Flint police say they have gathered enough evidence to seek a murder charge against 73-year-old Lois Janish.

Janish, Hall’s grandmother, was arrested Wednesday, July 31. She was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, Aug. 1, in 68th District Court. She faces an open murder charge and was held in the Genesee County Jail.

The Flint Police Department’s Violent Crime Task Force picked up on the case around five years ago. Hall went missing Sept. 22, 1998, after calling a friend from a pay phone near the White Horse Tavern in Flint.

While not able to provide a lot of insight into the case, which has been turned over to the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office, Flint Detective Sgt. Greg Hosmer said, “All of (the grandmother’s) statements over the years have been inconsistent. Trying to sort them out just didn’t make any sense. We just followed up on all of that.”

Since his office took over the case more than a handful of years ago, Hosmer said, “There’s never really been any tips. A six-year investigation just led from one name to another.”

Friends of Hall’s have told Flint police she made a phone call asking a friend to spend the night. The pair were supposed to meet at a pre-arraigned location, but Hall never showed up.

A similar arrangement had also been set up with another friend, who told police Hall had been fighting with her grandmother and needed a place to stay for the night, but she never arrived.

“We’re pretty convinced she has died,” said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton. He said there has been no trace over the years of Hall's Social Security information or credit cards issued in her name.

He noted the grandmother and her boyfriend, who is now dead, are believed to have been involved in Hall’s death, stating, “The grandmother has been a suspect all along. We have probable cause.”

Leyton called the situation “a bit of an unusual case,” as Hall’s body has not been found. In cold cases, he said evidence is presented “From time to time and we tell the investigators where we need additional evidence.”

“It’s never the first time you’ve heard the case,” he said when a charge is brought, while declining to get into specifics of this investigation. “There are multiple meetings required.”

The absence of a body, Leyton said, is “not overwhelmingly damaging to a case,” with the office building a circumstantial case against Janish. He said an open murder charge allows for flexibility in the case, with the potential for a charge of first-degree murder that would carry a life sentence with no chance of parole.

Having worked closely with Hosmer, Leyton said, “He is doggedly determined and never gives up,” while noting “He was even surprised when we brought up charges.” Hosmer gave credit, however, to two people in particular -- Hall’s childhood friends Melissa Jackson and Tanya Boillat -- for their constant attention to the case.

“They were the best friends anybody could ask for,” he said. Jackson said Hosmer came to her home Wednesday to let her know of the charge in the case.

“It’s been a flood of emotions for me today,” said Jackson. “I’m happy, “I’m angry, I’m sad about the situation… but I knew someday her case would go somewhere and find out what happened to her.”

Jackson met Hall while they were children in the Atherton school district and recalled “She was like my best friend. She was like my sister.”

“She was very loving, she was very kind. She’s the type of person that would do anything for you,” said Jackson. “She was funny, she had a great sense of humor, a wonderful friend. I still remember her laugh.”

“To me, it was heartbreaking. I couldn’t let it go,” she said following Hall’s disappearance. “I did everything I could to help with the investigation, so it wasn’t moved on and forgotten about like so many missing people in Flint.”

Janish called police following her granddaughter’s disappearance, saying Hall was going to return a book to a neighbor and never returned. Janish previously told The Flint Journal in 2008 she’d submitted to a lie detector test in the case and had been fighting with Hall about missing school prior to her disappearance.

Police initially received tips, including potential sightings of Hall in northern Indiana, Utah, Pontiac, along with Janish stating two men living in her home had mentioned taking Hall to California.

Hall moved in with Janish after a Genesee County probate judge ruled Sharon A. Jones, Hall’s mother, was not able to care for her daughter, according to MLive-Flint Journal records. Jones died in December 1996 from a drug overdose, and Hall moved with her grandmother to several different places in the community.

Boillat said no matter where Hall moved, they would always keep in touch with Hall who despite her small stature wasn’t scared of anything that came her way.

“It was always me, Melissa and Coral,” she said, her voice choked with emotion. “Just play stupid games and having a good old time. We miss her to pieces.”

After her disappearance, Boillat said, “We went looking for her on foot, wandering around neighborhoods trying to find her. Boillat recalled Hall discussing personal issues at home, with the group sneaking away to the woods to eat cookies during some of those troubled times.

“No matter who I see, or where I’m at, I always mention Coral,” Boillat said. “I had this really good friend and one day she vanished.”

Boillat and Jackson would travel door-to-door asking people if they’d seen their friends, and the pair also went through the phone book calling all the Halls listed to see if anyone knew of her whereabouts.

Multiple calls for comment on the case by MLive-Flint Journal to Robin Wheaton, Janish's attorney, were not returned Wednesday.

During the early course of the investigation, Boillat said felt she was ignored because of her age at the time, noting, “It wasn’t until Hosmer. Hosmer was very happy to talk to us, as we were to talk to him. It seems like he really cared and had heart.”

“I think, honestly, this is one of the best days of my life," she said.

“It’s like…shocking. I cry, then I am happy and then I cry,” said Boillat. “Is this true? It just feels like a dream.”
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Re: CORAL PEARL HALL - 14 yo (1998)/ Charged: Grandmother; Lois Janish - Flint MI

Post by mom_in_il on Thu May 15, 2014 9:46 pm

Lois Janish, Mich. grandmother, charged with murder in 1998 disappearance of teen granddaughter, report says

By Erin Donaghue, CBS News
August 2, 2013, 3:43 PM

CBS) DETROIT - A Michigan grandmother has been charged with murdering her teen granddaughter 15 years ago, CBS Detroit reports.

Lois Janish, 74, is being held without bail at the Genesee County Jail and is due back in court Aug. 6 for a pre-trial hearing.

Janish's granddaughter, Coral Hall, 14, reportedly went missing in September of 1998 after calling a friend asking for a place to stay and saying she had been fighting with her grandmother. Her body has never been found.

Janish admitted to killing her granddaughter by hitting her in the head with a hammer, Flint Detective Sgt. Greg Hosmer said during a court hearing Wednesday, reports Mlive.com. She allegedly said she and her boyfriend, who is now dead, dismembered Hall and scattered the remains, Hosmer said in court.

Janish later recanted the story, Hosmer reportedly said in court.

Five protective services investigations were opened into Janish's treatment of Hall, reports the website, Hosmer reportedly told the judge. Hall had been living with her grandmother, Janish, after her mother died.

Hall made sexual abuse allegations against her grandmother's boyfriend, who had recently been released from prison, Hosmer also reportedly said.

Janish reportedly apologized in a letter and offered to help authorities find the remains, but Hall's body has not been found despite three searches, Mlive.com reports.

Hosmer reportedly said Janish's "statements over the years have been inconsistent."

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lois-janish-mich-grandmother-charged-with-murder-in-1998-disappearance-of-teen-granddaughter-report-says/
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Re: CORAL PEARL HALL - 14 yo (1998)/ Charged: Grandmother; Lois Janish - Flint MI

Post by mom_in_il on Thu May 15, 2014 9:47 pm

Coral Hall's sister: I know my grandma was involved

Posted: Aug 02, 2013 2:47 PM CDT
Updated: Aug 02, 2013 5:37 PM CDT
By Lori Dougovito

FLINT (WJRT) - (08/02/13) - The sister of a Flint teenager, last seen alive in 1998, strongly believes their grandmother killed her.

Lois Janish, 73, has been charged with one count of open murder in Coral Hall's death.

The girl's body was never recovered.

Coral was 14 the last time she was seen alive. Her sister, younger by just 15 months, said she's happy an arrest has been made and that Janish is behind bars.

"We built tree houses," said Jacinda Sturtevant. "We played Barbies. I remember when our mom took us to the ocean, we picked up sea shells and played. I'll never have that again. My grandma ruined that."

Sturtevant, now 27, said she has long suspected their grandmother, Janish, had something to do with her sister's disappearance.  

"Her story changes every time I talked to her. Every time it's always something different."

Sturtevant said she last spoke with Janish last year and when Coral came up, like she always did, Janish's mood changed like it always does.

"It's a complete 360," Sturtevant said.

Sturtevant last saw Coral in 1996 at their mother's funeral. They had different fathers and hers moved her and her brother away. Coral stayed with Janish.

Sturtevant claims Coral reported some sort of problem at home to Child Protective Services, but got nowhere with it.

Police and prosecutors are not saying much about the evidence they have against Janish.

Published reports indicate the detective on Coral's case told a judge, when getting Janish's warrant signed, Janish admitted hitting her granddaughter in the head with a hammer and dismembering her body with help from her now deceased boyfriend. Janish also changed or recanted her accounts a number of times.

"I'm glad she's behind bars," Sturtevant said. "I know she's blood, but you know what? What she did to my sister is wrong.  I want her to suffer."

Sturtevant added she never gave up on her sister and never will.  She said Coral can be at rest now knowing her killer is behind bars.

Janish is being held, in the Genesee County Jail, without bond.

http://www.abc12.com/story/23032700/coral-halls-sister-i-know-my-grandma-was-involved
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Re: CORAL PEARL HALL - 14 yo (1998)/ Charged: Grandmother; Lois Janish - Flint MI

Post by mom_in_il on Thu May 15, 2014 9:51 pm

Flint grandmother competent to stand trial for allegedly killing granddaughter, Coral Hall

By Gary Ridley | gridley@mlive.com
on April 21, 2014 at 9:00 PM
updated April 21, 2014 at 9:04 PM

FLINT, MI -- A 74-year-old Flint woman has been found competent to stand trial on accusations that she killed her 14-year-old granddaughter, Coral Hall.

Lois Janish was found competent to stand trial Monday, April 21, by Genesee Circuit Judge Joseph J. Farah to stand trial on a single charge of open murder for Hall's death.

Janish was charged in Hall's death in August 2013 after authorities say she killed the girl in 1998. Janish allegedly told investigators she killed the girl with a hammer then dismembered her body before scattering her remains -- a story that she eventually recanted.

Farah granted a motion by Janish's attorney, Jessica Mainprize-Hajek, for her client to undergo an independent psychological evaluation.

Officials are still awaiting results of a criminal responsibility exam.

The competency evaluation focused on Janish's current mental state and her ability to assist Mainprize-Hajek in her defense. The evaluation for criminal responsibility centers on Janish's mental state at the time of the alleged offense.

Hall was 14 years old when she went missing Sept. 22, 1998. Her body has never been found. Her last known location in the Flint area was a pay phone near the White Horse Tavern where she made a call to a friend about a fight between her and Janish.

Court records show Janish raised her granddaughter after a Genesee County Probate judge found Hall's mother, Sharon A. Jones, unable to care for her daughter. Jones died of a drug overdose on Dec. 23, 1996 -- two years before Hall disappeared.

Police say that Janish admitted to using crack cocaine after she was awarded custody of Hall.

Janish has told different accounts of what happened to Hall since the girl's disappearance, according to police. One version involved Hall moving down South to live while another involved Hall fleeing to California with an older man, police said. Janish allegedly even said that Hall was found raped and stabbed to death in California, according to police.

Police said Janish went through polygraph examinations administered by the Genesee County Sheriff's Department in July 2011 and August 2012, in which Janish allegedly admitted that Hall was dead.

Janish allegedly wrote a letter apologizing for dumping Hall's body and agreed to help authorities search for Hall's remains, according to police. Three searches were conducted but no remains were found.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said the searches were conducted around the Ann Arbor Street home Janish lived in at the time of Hall's disappearance.

Police said Janish admitted that she and her boyfriend dismembered Hall and that she visited her granddaughter's grave three to four times. However, Janish allegedly recanted her story after hiring an attorney and told investigators that she made up the information.

Janish is scheduled to return to court May 12 to review the results of the independent evaluation.

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2014/04/flint_grandmother_competent_to.html
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Re: CORAL PEARL HALL - 14 yo (1998)/ Charged: Grandmother; Lois Janish - Flint MI

Post by mom_in_il on Thu May 15, 2014 9:52 pm

Lawyer for Flint grandmother signals insanity defense in teen slaying case

By Gary Ridley | gridley@mlive.com
on May 14, 2014 at 7:00 AM, updated May 14, 2014 at 7:11 AM

FLINT, MI -- The attorney for a Flint woman accused of killing her 14-year-old granddaughter has filed notice that she plans to use an insanity defense to defend her client.

Lois Arlene Janish, 74, is charged with a single count of open murder after prosecutors claimed she killed her granddaughter, Coral Hall. Janish was charged in Hall's death in August 2013 after authorities say she killed the girl in 1998.

Janish's attorney, Jessica Mainprize-Hajek, filed a notice May 5 that she intends to use an insanity defense to defend Janish.

The defense claims that over the span of three years, Janish has given 14 different accounts of Hall's disappearance including giving various confessions, according to court records.

Janish has told different accounts of what happened to Hall since the girl's disappearance, according to police. One version involved Hall moving down South to live while another involved Hall fleeing to California with an older man, police said. Janish allegedly even said that Hall was found raped and stabbed to death in California, according to police.

Hall's body has never been found, and Mainprize-Hajek has argued in court records that there is no proof Hall is even dead.

Mainprize-Hajek declined to comment on the case.

Insanity defenses can be used when suspects suffer from a mental disease or when the results of a mental disease caused a suspect to lack substantial mental capacity to understand the consequences of their actions, said Ronald Bretz, a former criminal law attorney and professor emeritus at Lansing-based Cooley Law School.

Defense attorneys using an insanity defense are required to prove that their client either didn't know the crime they were committing was wrong or that they knew their actions were illegal but their mental status prevented them from following the law.

The notice Mainprize-Hajek filed with the court did not elaborate on what led her to use the defense, but court records show Mainprize-Hajek has raised concerns about whether Janish fully understands the allegations against her.

Genesee Circuit Judge Joseph J. Farah signed an order Monday, May 12, allowing Janish to be evaluated by an independent forensic psychologist for criminal responsibility. State psychologists also evaluated Janish, determining she is competent to stand trial. The results of the state's criminal responsibility exam are still pending.

The competency evaluation focused on Janish's current mental state and her ability to assist Mainprize-Hajek in her defense. The evaluation for criminal responsibility centers on Janish's mental state at the time of the alleged offense.

Bretz said an insanity defense requires a psychologist to testify that Janish was legally insane at the time of the killing, and jurors could be forced to choose between differing opinions from state and independent examiners.

"They're very seldom successful," Bretz said of insanity defenses.

Even if jurors find a suspect not guilty by reason of insanity, the suspect is held in state custody to receive mental health treatment, Bretz said.

Mainprize-Hajek also filed notice of a voluntary intoxication defense, which allows a person to claim that they didn't know they would become intoxicated from taking legal drugs or alcohol. Court records do not elaborate on the substance at question in the case.

Bretz said a voluntary intoxication defense would only defend Janish from a first-degree murder conviction if successful. She still could be convicted of second-degree murder.

Hall was 14 years old when she went missing Sept. 22, 1998. Her body has never been found. Her last known location in the Flint area was a pay phone near the White Horse Tavern where she made a call to a friend about a fight between her and Janish.

Court records show Janish raised her granddaughter after a Genesee County Probate judge found Hall's mother, Sharon A. Jones, unable to care for her daughter. Jones died of a drug overdose on Dec. 23, 1996 -- two years before Hall disappeared.

Police say that Janish admitted to using crack cocaine after she was awarded custody of Hall.

Janish is due back in court June 9 for a review of the independent exam.

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2014/05/janish_insanity_coral_hall.html
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