Investigators and Students Continue Working 1988 Calhoun County Cold Case Murder
Calhoun County detectives and Olivet College students continue undeterred in solving the 1988 murder of James Burton.
In November of 2021, the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office announced it was reopening the investigation into the 1988 murder of James William Burton. James' body was located at 29 Mile Road near V Drive South in Homer Township on September 25, 1988. James was the apparent victim of murder.
Law enforcement was unable to identify his remains at the time. His identity would not be learned until the early 2000s when detectives reopened the case. But once again, the case went cold.
On November 15, 2021, the sheriff's office once again announced detectives would once again reopen the homicide cold case while asking the public for tips.
Working alongside detectives are students of Olivet College's Criminal Justice program who are not only reviewing the case and identifying leads but also analyzing the crime scene where James' body was found.
In addition, the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office says students learned about search patterns and how cadaver dogs track scents from Michigan State Police investigators.
James was known to go multiple names including; Jim Burton and Wendy Burton. He worked as a drywaller and was known to have connections to the Ypsilanti, Michigan area.
James was born in 1935 in Virginia where he graduated from high school in 1952. In the early 1970s, he was in the Atlanta, Georgia area, and in 1975 he was in Anchorage, Alaska. While in Anchorage, he ran a drywall business called Silver Fox Drywalling. In 1981, detectives know that he was in Chicago, Illinois.
Anyone with information about the death of James William Burton is asked to contact Calhoun County Detective Jonathan Pignataro at 269-781-0880.