Arrest made in 1997 cold case of woman


The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office made an arrest in connection with a cold case from 24 years ago.

Mary Prieur, 88, was killed on Feb. 27, 1997, in Lennon. Authorities say she was brutally beaten and suffocated. Her body was discovered in a swampy, wooded area about 150 yards from her home near Lennon Road and E. M-13.

Sheriff Chris Swanson announced Michael Bur, a 41-year-old man from Lennon, was arraigned on Thursday morning on one count of felony murder, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree, and kidnapping.

Within the last 24 hours, Swanson said investigators developed a lead based on a scientific analysis. Burr was taken into custody at his home, which is very close to where Prieur’s murder happened, Swanson said.

Burr remains lodged in the Genesee County Jail with no bond. Swanson promised to release more details on the case on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

“Law enforcement across the country. When they have cold cases, those victims they just never leave our mind,” Swanson said. “You take an 88-year-old lady who is living in peace and is dragged from her house, raped and murdered, you become personal to find out who did that.”

“I told him on that day in 2004: the next time I see you, you’ll be in shackles and you’ll be charged with murder. And that day was today,” Swanson said.

He said Bur is formally charged with felony murder, criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping and remains behind bars.

Swanson said the arrest is a testament to the unflinching dedication of investigators in their quest to do right by Prieur.

“Over these last decades, she’s family. To bring closure to her and to bring closure to the village of Lennon, it’s a day to celebrate justice,” Swanson said. 

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