New details in 38-year-old Cass County homicide once ruled suicide


WSBT 22 has learned new details tonight in a 38-year old Cass County death investigation.

On Thursday, police arrested and charged 56-year-old Raymond Richmond in connection with the shooting death of his own cousin, Robert Stasiak back in November of 1977 in Edwardsburg.

The case was re-opened last year.

These documents detail what led police to arrest and charge 56-year-old Raymond Richmond in connection with the shooting death of his cousin, Robert Stasiak in November of 1977 in Edwardsburg.

Robert Stasiak was a navy veteran, a father and a husband.

He was just 25-years old when he was found dead from a gunshot wound at his parents home on May Street in Edwardsburg.

Probable cause documents obtained by WSBT 22 indicate Stasiak's cousin, Raymond Richmond, who was 18 years old at the time, went overto Stasiak's parents home to confront him after Stasiak threw Richmond's marijuana into a toilet.

The documents include information that Richmond admitted several times over nearly 30 years that he killed Stasiak.

That includes written and verbal statements by Richmond found in medical records from Oaklawn Hospital in Goshen in 1985 that have been obtained by police .

Documents describe how Richmond also admitted to Stasiak's wife and daughter during a phone conversation in 1993 that he killed his cousin.

Stasiak's death was initially ruled a suicide, but these papers filed with the court say there was no suicide note and no obvious way he could have pulled the trigger.

At a press conference Thursday, Edwardsburg Police Chief Timothy Kozal said Stasiak's family never believed the 25-year old Navy veteran killed himself.

"When I first started talking to the family, that's the one thing that I said, 'it's time to get some justice," Kozal said.

That's where these three students at Southwestern Michigan College come into play.

They're part of a program called, 'seeking justice' and have been helping police and the prosecutor investigate this case.

"We go through every single document of the case, whether it's police reports or evidence or witness statements or whatever the case may be, we have to go through all of that material and read it and review it," said Julie Sisk, a student at Southwestern Michigan College and Ferris State University.

"There has been so much passion between the three of us and we've put so much dedication into this," said Stephanie Rich. "We just want what's right. That's what we want."

Not just for Stasiak's family, but for all of the families of homicide victims.

Richmond was arrested in South Bend last week. He has been charged with open murder and felony possession of a weapon. He was extradited to Cass County to face charges.

The college students will continue to work with police and the prosecutors office until this case is closed.

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