NEWAYGO COUNTY, Mich. – Two West Michigan brothers are locked up after being arrested in connection to the 1989 murder of a teenager whose body was found in the Manistee National Forest.
The following is a news release from the Michigan Attorney General’s office.
LANSING – Attorney General Bill Schuette along with Newaygo County Prosecutor, Robert Springstead, Newaygo Police Department, Newaygo County Sherriff’s Department and the Michigan State Police, today announced first degree murder charges for Matthew Jones, 44, of Grant, and his brother, Paul Jones, 42, of Newaygo, in the 25-year-old cold case murder of Shannon Siders, 18, of Newaygo. The case will be jointly prosecuted by Schuette’s Criminal Division and Newaygo County Prosecutor Robert Springstead.
“There is no statute of limitations for the peace of mind of a parent who lost a child to murder,” said Schuette. “Today’s arrests confirm that our work is never done while a cold case remains unsolved. We will secure justice for the Siders family.”
“I would like to thank Newaygo County Prosecutor Robert Springstead, Newaygo Police Chief Pat Hedlund, Newago County Sheriff Mike Mercer and the Michigan State Police at the Sixth District Headquarters for their tireless efforts in seeking justice in this once cold case,” said Schuette.
“This case remained open for many years but Shannon Siders was never forgotten and law enforcement’s resolve to hold those accountable for her death never diminished,” said Newaygo County Prosecutor Robert Springstead. “This case is a perfect example of what can be accomplished when multiple agencies cooperate, collaborate and share resources.”
“Homicide cases are never closed,” said Detective First Lieutenant Mike Anderson, Michigan State Police Sixth District Headquarters. “Through diligent police work and a great deal of effort and cooperation from a multijurisdictional team of investigators including the Newaygo County Prosecutor and Attorney General’s office, probable cause was established to make these arrests. These arrests mark the first step in the process for obtaining justice for Shannon.”
Background on Siders Murder Case
On July 17, 1989 18-year-old Shannon Siders went out with friends for the night. Her father, who worked midnights, last saw her at 10:30 pm. When he arrived home from work the next morning, Shannon had not returned home. Shannon was allegedly last seen riding in Paul Jones’ car with his brother, Matthew.
Shannon was reported as a missing person to the Michigan State Police by her father the following day after she did not return home.
In October 1989, Shannon’s decomposing body was discovered by a hunter in the Manistee National Forest in a place known as, “Hole-in-the-Woods.” Her death was later ruled a homicide.
In 2011 a Cold Case Task Force was assembled to reinvestigate the death of Shannon Siders. The task force consisted of members of the Michigan State Police, the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department and the Newaygo City Police Department.
Matthew Jones and Paul Jones were arrested June 24, 2014 in Newaygo County. Schuette and Springstead today filed the following charge against both Jones’ in 78th District Court:
· One count of First Degree Murder – Premeditated, a felony punishable by up to life without parole.
Matthew and Paul Jones were arrested today by Michigan State Police. They are expected to be arraigned later today.
In 2011 Schuette secured three first-degree murder convictions in a 13-year-old cold case for the 1998 homicide of Deborah Boothby. Ivory Shaver, Scottie Shaver, and Shevolier Gill, all of South Haven are currently serving life sentences in Van Buren County for premeditated first degree murder.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.