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KCSO Identifies Victim of a 1997 Homicide in Ada Township

January 4th, 2022 5:00 pm

ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich:  The remains of the bones found in a roadside park east of Ada have been identified. On July 31, 1997 the Kent County Sheriff’s Office responded to the roadside park after a maintenance worker located the bones. The death was ruled a homicide by the Kent County Medical Examiner’s Office. 

The KCSO partnered with DNA Doe Project to assist in identifying the DNA profile extracted from these bones.  Through information gained by partnering with DNA Doe Project, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office was able to identify the victim as Stephanie Renee Judson, date of birth 01/22/1966. Further investigation revealed that Stephanie originated from Benton Harbor, Michigan and relocated to Grand Rapids, Michigan in the late 1980’s.

Kent County Detectives have worked the case for years, sending DNA samples to various databases, creating digital and forensic sketches along with a clay model of the victim based on the skull in attempts to identify her.  These efforts resulted in learning that the victim was a black female between the ages of 18 and 25 who was between 5 foot 2 and 5 foot 8. The bones were sent to the University of North Texas who was able to extract a DNA sample from the bones. That DNA sample did not result in any matches in DNA databases.  Through the partnership with DNA Doe Project and their expertise, investigators are now able to move this case forward.  

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate this homicide and asks for anyone with information regarding Stephanie Judson to contact Silent Observer or Detective Dustin Cook at 616-632-6136.


Contact: Sgt. Eric Brunner | 616.914.8481