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Friends still hopeful for closure seven years after the murder of a mother
KENT COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) Its been seven years to the day since a Kent County mother of three was found stabbed to death in her home near Rockford.
Renee Pagels murder has never been solved, but those who knew and loved her are working to keep her story alive and determined to keep the case from going cold.
Newschannel 3 spoke with two of Pagels friends about what they think happened that night in 2006.
While detectives have not found enough evidence to make an arrest, those that knew Pagel say theres no question in their mind who her killer is. They say Pagel told them, just days before her death, that her husband was angry enough to kill her.
I remember it like it was an hour ago, said Chris Crandle, a mutual friend called and said Chris, Renee is dead, and I just knew.
Crandle says it seems like just yesterday that she got the call that her best friend was found murdered in her own bed.
When Renee came into a room everybody knew it, said Crandle. She was loud and bubbly and slapped her knee all the time, she was always laughing.
Pagel had just donated her kidney to a stranger and was still recovering from surgery in August of 2006 when she was found stabbed to death.
I am shocked that here we are, seven years later and her killer is still walking around a free man, said Crandle.
Pagel was known for her generosity and lively personality, but friends say was also in the process of a nasty divorce, including a custody battle with her now ex-husband, and who expressed concern for her safety just days before her death.
She said, if you see how he looks at me, he hates me, said Diet Eman, who says she considered Pagel a daughter and I said do you think he could kill you, and she said yes.
Detectives tell Newschannel 3 that there is a person of interest in the case, but so far not one piece of evidence has linked him to a crime.
I feel terrible still because she was like a daughter to me, said Eman.
Friends, family and those working to solve the case are confident theyll get their answers eventually with the help of evolving technology and are hopeful that someone with information will step forward.
A memorial piece in honor of Pagel called Renees Garden will debut at ArtPrize 2013. It celebrates the mothers life and how she continues to touch others.
You can learn more at the website WhoKilledRenee.com.