Lost Bride Research Day 19


I went to the Kalamazoo Public Library today and searched microforms for the previously researched articles. I found all of them and was able to photograph them with my handy little iPad here. I haven’t used a microfilm or microform reel reader for at least 30 years. I am so spoiled by technology.

After the library I went to the Kalamazoo County Sheriff offices to get a copy of the police report of Shayna Swann’s death. Yeah, that was an experience. The County jail is at the same location.

Access to the records room is one person at a time. While you wait for your turn to access the records office, you areĀ  in the lobby where people are inquiring about their family members’ release time today, why their son was not administered his medication on time after his arrest and the assortment of persons waiting to file requests for restraining orders, etc. Two men were admitted to records just ahead of me. I wondered how long I would need to wait. Two others filed in after me for the records room as well.

It was probably 10 minutes when the receptionist said I could go back to Records and buzzed me through the security door. When I got in the room, the two gentlemen who were ahead of me were still there completing a gun ownership transfer. (They inquired to confirm if you still have to produce the weapon to transfer ownership since they don’t have the weapon with them. No, the records clerk replied, no need to produce the weapon any more.)

The records room visitors’ area is the size of my 1/2 bath. No wonder access is one person at a time. I filled out a FOIA form and requested the police record of Shayna Swann’s death – case number 14-2386 – and a mug shot, which the young lady at the counter confirmed they had. “Of course that will be a bit more expensive than just copying the records.” After I submitted the form, I asked about how long and how much.

Apparently the Sheriff has five business days after the day the form is submitted to complete the request and bill you. If it takes them longer, they can give themselves another 10 days to complete the request. They send an e-mail invoice and after I pay it, I can get access to the records. I find myself feeling like this is an incredible lead time for copies of paperwork. I am so spoiled by technology.

One of the articles I found in the paper had a small picture of Shayna Swann so I stopped by Westwood Cleaners to see if Elaine was in and could identify the woman in the photo as the wedding dress owner. I missed her today; a staffer told me she usually works afternoons on Tuesday and Wednesday so I will try tomorrow on my way back from running errands.

I will post the clippings I have so far tomorrow.

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