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Never stop trying to solve old cases!

Arrest made in 1980 St. Clair County cold case murder.
Detectives cite advancements in DNA testing

December 18th, 2023

PORT HURON, Mich. – After more than 40 years, a murder case in St. Clair County might finally be closed.

The St. Clair County Sheriff's Office said it made an arrest last week in a murder case that has been unsolved since 1980. Detectives arrested 70-year-old Douglas Laming of Fort Gratiot in connection with the murder of Karen Umphrey.

Umphrey, 21 years old, was found dead in the State Game Area in Beards Hills on the morning of November 2, 1980.

The St. Clair County Sheriff's Office said they've been working for the last year on a break in the case, and advancements in DNA testing helped lead to a match.

"Working with the Michigan State Police and Othram, a company specializing in forensic genetic genealogy, information was uncovered that previously would have been impossible to find. From there, St. Clair County Sheriff's Office detectives spoke to many people that were connected to the victim and suspect over 40 years ago, gathering information and making vital connections," officials said in a release.

Laming was arraigned on felony murder charges on Sunday at the 72nd District Court in Port Huron. He remains at the St. Clair County Detention and Intervention Center. His next court date is Dec. 26.

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