WHITE WALLPAPER, Mich. (AP) — A jury has convicted a man of manslaughter in the disappearance of a West Michigan man whose body has still not been found nearly 40 years later.
Richard Atwood was 25 years old in 1983 when he was last seen in White Cloud, Newayoga County, 45 miles north of Grand Rapids.
Roy Snell, who was 18 at the time and lived in the area, was found guilty Wednesday of manslaughter during another crime.
Jurors were told Atwood was known as a marijuana dealer in the White Cloud area. Snell’s DNA was found on cigarette butts in Atwood’s car. The investigation called robbery as a possible motive.
“I am grateful that we can finally bring justice to the victim’s family,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel. “Investigating a decades-old cold case without a body is a very difficult task.”
Snell, now 57, was arrested in Hennepin County, Minnesota in 2020. He split his time between Ohio and Minnesota, attorney Stephanie Kurndike said.
“It was all very indirect,” she said Friday. “There was no body. There was no murder device. I don’t think we’ll ever really know what happened.’
The evidence included incriminating statements made by Snell while he was incarcerated in the Grand Rapids area years ago.