Patrick Gilham, 67, is the man who killed Roxanne Wood 35 years ago in her House. He was sentenced to a minimum of 23 years in Jail in April this year.
Roxanne Wood’s husband, Terry Wood, found her dead on the kitchen floor of their House in 1987. Police said Terry found Roxanne soaked in blood with her throat slashed.
For the past thirty-five years, Terry lived as one of the suspects in his spouse’s murder. Although Roxanne’s death was considered a homicide by Niles and Michigan State Police detectives, Police didn’t arrest anyone as there wasn’t enough evidence.
After over three decades, investigators successfully solved the case and arrested the suspect Patrick Gilham in February this year.
Investigators identified the suspect with the help of a tiny DNA sample the size of a human cell. Here is the timeline and latest updates of the case.
Patrick Gilham- Man Who Killed Roxanne Wood, Murder Update
Patrick Gilham, 67, was arrested on 17 February 2022 and charged with second-degree murder 35 years after Roxanne Wood’s death.
He was reportedly accused of breaking an occupied dwelling. On 25 April 2022, Patrick Gilhma pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and was sentenced to a minimum of twenty-three years in prison for Roxanne Wood’s murder.
As per the officials, the case was investigated for several decades, and Michigan State Police detectives revisited it in 2001 and 2020.
The Cold Case Program at Western Michigan University’s students finally assisted those investigators in finding Gilham on their first case together.
Multiple case files and digital Post-it notes were among the mountains of evidence that the students gathered and organized.
Patrick Gilham Was Surveilled Extensively For DNA
Undercover state Police troopers surveilled Gilham extensively and interrogated him twice after being identified as a suspect. During that period, he discarded cigarettes, and detectives collected them.
According to Michigan State Police Detective First Lt. Charles Christensen, the DNA from the cigarette was then used by the Police to determine that the DNA obtained at the crime site belonged to Gilham.
After he was arrested in February, just a few days before the 35th anniversary of the murder, he was questioned for five hours.
During the five hours of questioning, Police asked Patrick why his DNA was found at the scene. But the accused repeatedly said he had no clue and didn’t remember anything.
In a statement, Identifiers International said that Roxanne’s case became a landmark in using FGG (Forensic Genetic Genealogy). They used a three-decades-old DNA sample (low-level and highly degraded) to identify Wood’s assailant.
The organization’s president, Colleen Fitzpatrick, described it as their greatest technological challenge. He added it shows that we should never give up hope and expressed his gratefulness to the Michigan State Police for having faith in them.
Dark Past Of Roxanne Wood’s Murderer
Genetics expert Gabriella Vargas was the one who identified Gilhma as a suspect by using the gnat’s eyebrow of DNA, reported The Sun.
She built a genetic profile detailing the assailant’s race and ancestral origins. Investigator uploaded Vargar’sfinding to an online DNA database allowing her to match up potential relatives.
Eventually, the expert built the killer’s family tree and found Gilham’s parents. Vargas suggested that one of their three sons could be Roxanne’s murderer.
Before coming across Gilham’s record, the detectives thoroughly investigated the three sons Gilham family.
The murderer had a history of crime and even spent time in prison for illegal aberrant behavior.