UP librarian opens informative website for 1981 cold case near Calumet

The disappearance and death of 11-year-old Karl Heikell still remain unsolved over 40 years later
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 9:48 PM EDT
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CENTENNIAL HEIGHTS, Mich. (WLUC) - Forty-one years after a boy disappeared and died in Houghton County, the case has yet to be solved.

Now, a U.P. librarian is hoping his project can raise awareness for the cold case.

Dillon Geshel, Director for the Superiorland Library Cooperative, is aiming to revive interest in the 1981 disappearance and death of 11-year-old Karl Heikell through an informative website.

“I first learned about Karl Heikell’s story about 10 years ago,” said Geshel. “And at that time it was just something that satisfied my own curiosity to read more about it, and then at some time in the last year I decided I wanted to make that information public.”

According to Geshel, on Halloween 1981, Heikell disappeared while taking a walk from his family’s house in Centennial Heights near Calumet. Search efforts lasted for nearly a year until clothing and remains were found in the woods half a mile from his home. The circumstances of both his death and disappearance remain unsolved and Geshel hopes to change that.

“My hope with the website is that there are other folks out there that have an interest in maybe learning what happened,” continued Geshel. “And that the State Police can start working the case again.”

The website contains an overview of the case, police reports, new articles, a map highlighting areas of interest and more.

Michigan State Police (MSP) Calumet Post Detective Sergeant Jeremy Clearly is assisting in this effort by accepting information related to the case.

“If you guys have any tips or any information that you think would be helpful for the investigation, we ask that you contact the Michigan State Police Calumet Post,” said Clearly. “Times have changed, we have better technology and maybe we can bring some closure to the family.”

The MSP is awaiting new information before reopening the case.

To contact the MSP Calumet Post regarding information related to the case, call 906-337-5145.

To visit the website, click here.