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Two Men Arrested in Connection to 1997 Lenawee County Homicide

LANSING – Richardo Sepulveda, 51 of Cincinnati, OH and Michael Sepulveda, 49 of Toledo, OH, were arrested on January 24, 2023, by the United States Marshalls Service for the 1997 cold case homicide of “John Doe,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.

They are being extradited on the following charges: 

  • Count 1 - First Degree Premediated Murder, a felony that carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole;
  • Count 2 - Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Premediated Murder, a felony that carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole;
  • Count 3 - Assault with Intent to Maim, a ten-year felony;
  • Count 4 - Conspiracy to commit Assault with Intent to Maim, a ten-year felony;
  • Count 5 - Tampering with Evidence, a ten-year felony; and,
  • Count 6 - Conspiracy to Commit Tampering with Evidence, a ten-year felony.

“Michigan State Police worked with multiple local and federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to gather evidence and establish a timeline of events,” said Nessel.  “I am grateful for their persistence in pursuing this case.  All crime victims deserve justice regardless of how long it takes to receive it.”

On November 19, 1997, police were dispatched to Blissfield Twp. in response to the discovery of human remains in a cornfield owned and farmed by the caller. When police arrived to examine the remains, they observed the body of an unidentified, unclothed male that was missing the head and both hands. The hands appeared to have been cut from just above the wrist. Officers also observed what appeared to be saw striations on the ends of the bones.

The Michigan State Police First District Cold-Case Unit worked with other local and federal agencies and prosecutors to gather evidence, establish a timeline of events, and locate the defendants. To date, John Doe’s identity is still unknown.    The investigation is still ongoing, if anyone has information related to this investigation, please contact Michigan State Police D/Sgt. Larry Rothman at 313-407-9379.

Michael Sepulveda has waived extradition and Richardo Sepulveda goes before a Judge tomorrow at 8:30am.

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Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Department does not provide booking photos.