Murder Charges Filed

Criminal charges have been filed in connection with a September 2005 missing persons case out of Sturgis.

That’s when 79-year old Rosemary Reinel was reported missing. Her car was found in Florida about a week later.
Her body was found in a LaGrange County farm field several weeks later.

On Friday, prosecutors filed murder charges against 54-year old Dannie Gayheart.

The charges contend that Reinel was beaten to death with a pair of pliers.

In September of 2005, Gayheart moved into an apartment that was across the hall from Reinel’s.

At the time, Gayheart was an ex-con out on parole.

Reinel and Gayheart soon found that they had something in common.

Both had reason to go to Sarasota, Florida, so they made plans to go together in Reinel’s car.

“Rosemary had withdrawn 29, 100-dollar bills from the bank on Friday, September 15th,” according to St. Joseph County (Michigan)Prosecutor Doug Fisher.

It's believed Reinel disappeared on Tuesday September 20th, 2005.

That's when a witness apparently saw Reinel's car parked in the same LaGrange county farm field -- where Reinel's body was found weeks later.

Although Reinel had cancelled her trip to Florida with Gayheart, prosecutors say a phone call Reinel apparently made the morning of the day she disappeared, places her with Gayheart.

Rosemary told her boyfriend, “I'm going to give Dannie Gayheart a ride to Indiana for him to pick up some money,” said Fisher.

It was also revealed today that the brutal crime was one that never should have happened.

The prosecutor contends that Gayheart had been released early, after a parole violation.

He should have stayed there until September 20th,”said Fisher, “which would have been long enough to prevent this crime.”

While Michigan doesn’t have the death penalty, that could become an option for Gayheart.

That’s because the federal government has expressed an interest in taking over the case.

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