The Lake Erie Murders Will Explore Unsolved Cases

The great lakes have their mysteries but Lake Erie may be the most treacherous in ID's series The Lake Erie Murders.

Amy Mihaljevic disappeared in October of 1989 from a Lake Erie area shopping plaza. The 10-year-old met a man there the police believe she might have known. She wanted to buy her mother a gift to celebrate a recent promotion. Amy’s body was four months later. For nearly 30 years, police have been looking for the person responsible in the death. Investigation Discovery’s new miniseries The Lake Erie Murders will try to answer the question when it premires with the three-hour special Who Killed Amy Mihaljevic? on Sunday, December 30 from 9 p.m. to midnight.

 The Lake Erie Murders: Who Killed Amy Mihaljevic? is only one of several mysteries of the Great Lake. “Ominously named for its violent and unpredictablenature, Lake Erie borders four states and parts of Canada – and is home to some dark and deadly crimes,” reads an ID press release. The series will bring viewers “to the edge of the water exploring murder cases in the region.

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“The aptly named Lake Erie is really a character throughoutthis new series, representing a looming darkness that sets up a stark contrast between the idyllic lakeside towns and the violent dangers of the past,” Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channeland Destination America,  said in a statement.

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Amy Mihaljevic’s story continues to haunt the region and remains a source of intrigue and speculation. The 1989 kidnapping and murder is still an unsolved murder with an active investigation. The special painstakingly follows how each lead was exhausted and how suspects weredismissed one by one. The special also features multiple women with stories similar to Amy’s when they were also young girls, who have chosen to remain anonymous due to the fear that the abductor is still out there. The hours expose a series of other child murders in the area to explore potential similarities to Amy’s case, in the hopes that the details will help bring forward new leads and suspects.

“In Who Killed Amy Mihaljevic?, ID takes a deeper exploration into a case that has never truly gone cold in the region, and hopes to bring some resolution to the Mihaljevic family, and sadly many others, who have been sufferingfor nearly three decades,” Schleiff said.

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Further reading: Susan Powell: An ID Murder Mystery Special Coming to ID

Just months older than Mihaljevic when she was abducted, Ohio native James Renner was immediately drawn to the case and his determination to find answers followed him into adulthood through his career as an investigative journalist. In each eight-minute episode, Renner investigates five more of the region’s most notorious unsolved cases in the hopes of bringing justice to families.

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The series continues weekly with hour-long episodes that tell four additional haunting murder mysteries which were solved by law enforcement, remindingviewers that when it comes to Lake Erie, there really is something about the water.

Beginning on Sunday, January 6 at 10pm ET, Investigation Discovery will explore four additional closed cases of young girls and women who were found murdered around the Great Lake.

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High School Horror

When the body of high school student Debbie Gama is discovered in a creek wrapped in wire, suddenly anyone close to the 16-year-old victim becomes a suspect in her brutal murder. Ex-boyfriends and then her stepfather all fall under intense police scrutiny and the deeper investigators dig, the more they discover about a secret world of drugs, sadomasochism and bondage, buried just beneath the surface of the tranquil lakeside town. Location: Erie, PA. Premieres Sunday, January 6 at 10/9c

The Butcher of Buffalo

Mother of three Joan Giambra is discovered strangled, lying naked under her comatose young daughter, Kat. In a close-knit community, ex-husband Sam rapidly becomes the prime suspect but without hard evidence, the investigation hangs on the testimony of 11-year-old Kat. But her memories of the incident are blurry and it becomes a race against time to catch a serial killer before he comes back to silence the only witness to this heinous crime. Location: Buffalo, NY. Premieres Sunday, January 13 at 10/9c.

Blood in the Water

When a bag containing body parts washes up on the shore of the lake, the search for missing 10-year old Holly Jones becomes a grim murder investigation. While her parents are plunged into a world of unfathomable grief and a whole city is gripped with fear and paranoia, the investigating officers race to find the perpetrator of thisterrible and shocking crime before another child is killed. Location: Parkdale, Ontario. Premieres Sunday, January 20 at 10/9c.

Alley of Death

When 14-year old Gloria Pointer is found raped and murdered in an alleyway, it is the start of a 30-year quest for answers by her mother who will not give up until she finds justice for her daughter. Her quest for answers will take her on a twisting path fromthe streets of East Cleveland to death row, pushing the very frontiers of forensic science to reveal the evil killer living in their midst. Location: Cleveland, OH. Premieres Sunday, January 27 at 10/9c.

Investigation Discovery will also launch the digital companion series Lake Erie’s Coldest Cases, exclusively on IDGO on Sunday, December 24.

The Lake Erie Murders premieres with the three-hour special, Who Killed Amy Mihaljevic? on Sunday, December 30 at 9 p.m.

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Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.