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Sheriff Matt Lori of St. Joseph County, Mich. came down to help rebuild Jay's home. He worked on the rough construction, and painted both the interior and exterior of the Vitrano home. He told us about three cases that he needs AMW's help with: a murderer, a rapist and a drug trafficker.
In November 2007, 11-year-old Jodi Parrack was riding her bike home from school when she was murdered by an unknown assailant in Constantine, Mich. Hours later, her body and abandoned bicycle were found in the town's cemetery by her mother and a reserve Sheriff's deputy. Sheriff Lori's department has worked with other local agencies to flush out hundreds of tips, but they are still looking for the one that will break the case open. Check out all the clues on Jodi's case at our profile of her killer.
St. Joseph County deputies say a Michigan State Trooper's 13-year-old daughter had a fight with her parents and decided to run away. They say she met up with a truck full of Hispanic men, who offered to give her a ride. Instead, cops say they drove her to a remote cornfield, and one of the men, Aparicio Huerta-Quiroz, raped her.
A cop stopped the four men, when he saw them acting suspicious near the cornfield, but was unaware a sex crime had occurred nearby. Later on that day, the same cop received a call back to the cornfield and realized he had been talking to the suspect, but had let him go, and he has not been seen since. Help Sheriff Lori track down Huerta-Quiroz;while he helps get Jay Vitrano back home.
According to St. Joseph County deputies, Claudio Alejo-Benitez is wanted for absconding on bond after being arrested for trafficking large amounts of cocaine and marijuana throughout the state.
Sheriff Mike Oltersdorf of the Leelanau County Sheriff's Office used his expertise at finished carpentry as one of the project foremen for the interior of the Vitrano home. One night he stayed until the wee hours of the morning to make sure Jay's new kitchen cabinets were hung well. Sheriff Oltersdorf came to us with two cases a missing person and a suspected child rapist on the run.
On October 12, 2007, Native American teenager Augistine Floyd attended an after-party following a rap concert downstate in Mount Pleasant. The college student was last seen standing by his Cadillac, but no one has seen or heard from him since. An extensive search of the woods near the reservation he was visiting turned up nothing on the teen. Sheriff Oltersdorf knows someone knows something about what happened to and he's counting on an AMW tipster to call in with the information that will crack open the case.
Leelanau County deputies say Timoteo Hernandez was an illegal immigrant working in a local factory and living with friends in their trailer home. Investigators say after a night of drinking, he entered a young boy's bedroom and tried to rape him, unsuccessfully. He fled the scene before anybody found out what happened, and days later, cops found the car he was known to be driving -- two hours away in Grand Rapids, near a Greyhound Bus depot. Cops think Hernandez was en route to Mexico, and they need your help in bringing this suspected child molester to justice.
While in New Orleans, Tuscola County Sheriff Tom Kern and five members of his agency worked their magic on the drywall and insulation at the Vitrano home.
Sheriff Kern told us about one fugitive he had in mind who he'd like to put behind bars. His Tuscola County detectives are searching for Francis Helen Edwards, who they say bilked a minimum of 100 people out of $130 each on various online auction sites. They say her victims expected to receive Xboxes or PlayStations from her, but instead, all they got was empty boxes filled with air. She hasn't been seen since 2003, and cops have no idea where she may be.
Another fugitive on the Michigan Sheriffs' Association's radar is one of Wayne County's Most Wanted. Deputies in the Detroit area are searching for Mustapha Mohamed Atat, who they say was a street-racing fanatic. He has been charged with Second Degree Murder for driving in a street race that resulted in a fatal accident.
Like Sheriff Oltersdorf from Leelanau County, Gratiot County Sheriff Rick Beracy believes so strongly in the Cops Helping Cops mission that he brought down five additional people from his office. The Gratiot County Sheriff's Office handled the siding and exteriors on the Vitrano home.
For years, there has been one case haunting Sheriff Beracy and Gratiot County authorities. Lenny Hustin vanished without a trace in February 2001. Lenny worked at a gas station in Middleton, Mich. People in the town knew him as the friendly face behind the counter, and it came as a big surprise to everyone when Lenny didn't show up for work one day.
These Sheriffs and their deputies are helping another cop get back up on his feet. Sgt. Vitrano calls what Cops Helping Cops did to his home "magic." Having a livable home for he and his sons means the world to Jay.