Research! Day 11

Thursday
It’s lunch time and I am making some more research phone calls. Called Berrien County and spoke with Melanie in the Clerks office, no woman with the last name Abbott, first name starting with V has died in the county in the last few years.
Called Allegan County, Sue in the clerks office said no woman with the last name Abbott, first name starting with V has ever died in the county.
Called Cass County, Heather in the clerks office said computers were down, call later.
Called St. Joseph County and spoke with Jackie in the Clerks office, no woman with the last name Abbott, first name starting with V has ever died in the county.
Called Branch County and spoke with woman in the Clerks office, no woman with the last name Abbott, first name starting with V has ever died in the county.
Called Barry County and spoke with Delana in the Clerks office, no woman with the last name Abbott, first name starting with V has died in the county in the last few years.
Delana was the first county employee interested in why I was searching with such skeletal information. I related the situation to her and asked if she could suggest any other places I might try. Delana suggested that I try county police to see if any case details sound familiar to them. She said “After all, the state police may not have had to get involved.”
Aha, thank God for Delana. I never called Kalamazoo police because the businesses and residences in the area around Oshtemo are unincorporated and covered by county or state authorities. And I did call the Michigan State Police for help. Since I could find no local death certificate, I ruled out local authorities. Now when I think about it, it makes perfect sense. Since she and I use the same dry cleaners, I made the assumption that Ms. Abbott lived in the Oshtemo Township area. I thought the state police had jurisdiction for unincorporated areas, that’s why I started there. I called the Oshtemo Township offices on (State Route) M43. The Oshtemo Township office referred me to the Kalamazoo County Sheriff.
Calling the Sheriff.  When I explained to the Sheriff’s office why I was calling I could hear the receptionist typing. Then she said this was a current case and referred me to Detective Sgt. David Johnson. I about jumped out of my chair. I had conflicted feelings at that moment. I felt elated that I may actually be on the track to find out more about Ms. Abbott. At the same time, I felt embarrassed at feeling so elated at the possibility of learning details of her life, and death. Left Detective Sgt. David Johnson a message.

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