A Michigan man, 26, was taken into custody last week after he allegedly admitted to killing his mother in a “horrendous” way and disposing of her corpse in a storm drain because she had alerted the police to his children’s safety.
On Wednesday, October 25, Justin Jackson was placed under arrest and charged with first-degree premeditated murder, homicide, evidence tampering, hiding an individual’s death, and lying to a police officer during a violent crime investigation related to Samantha Guinther’s killing.
When was Samantha Guinther last seen alive?
Guinther, 47, was last seen alive on or around June 18, according to interim Eastpointe Police Department Chief Corey Haines. Her daughter reported her missing in September.
According to Haines, Guinther’s daughter did not report her mother missing right away as she had a “transient lifestyle,” was often homeless, and frequently went for extended periods of time without answering her phone.
At a press conference held on Friday, October 27, and aired by Detroit Fox station WJBK, Haines said that the daughter informed authorities that it was “way too long” for her to not hear from Guinther for a few months.
Detectives shifted their attention from a missing persons case to a potential murder case based on the evidence they collected after conducting a “very extensive investigation” that used all of the department’s resources.
When was Justin Jackson arrested?
On October 25, local law enforcement officials, assisted by the Michigan State Police Crime Lab, carried out a search warrant at Guinther’s last known residence in Erin Park, about ten miles northeast of Detroit.
The other individual who was at the house with Jackson was later released without being charged. Jackson and the other person were both brought into prison.
When Jackson was in detention, according to the police, he confessed to murdering his mother, whose corpse was found in a storm drain not far from the home where Jackson was detained.
Chief Haines said, “Despite having very little information at first, Eastpointe detectives were able to piece together this investigation, locate Ms. Guinther, and take the person responsible for this heinous crime safely into our custody.”
Samantha Guinther’s murder was termed ‘horrendous’
Assistant Macomb County Prosecutor Rebecca Kelley described Guinther’s murder as “horrendous” during Jackson’s arraignment on Friday morning, October 27, adding that Jackson was displeased with Guinther for contacting Macomb County Child Protective Services about Jackson’s children’s safety.
“This person (Jackson) struck and then stabbed and after that, without getting into all the specifics, did horrible things to this person (Guinther), supposedly for getting in touch with protective services and expressing concern about his children,” Kelly said, as reported by WJBK.
Lt Alexander Holish, the head of Eastpointe Police’s detective bureau, was reluctant to answer when questioned why the police continued using terms like “heinous” and “horrendous,” but eventually said that “several weapons were used to accomplish this horrendous crime.”
“The simple fact that a son murdered his own mother is terrible,” Holish added.
GoFundMe has been ser up for Samantha Guinther funeral
In order to pay for her mother’s burial and cremation, Guinther’s daughter created a GoFundMe campaign. On the website, she said that her mother had been “brutally killed and hid” from the family since June.
Guinther’s daughter stated, “She just dropped all contact on June 18 and now we know why. This is very heartbreaking and we don’t know what we are going to do.”
By Monday night, October 30, over $900 had been raised on the page. Jackson is being jailed on a $10 million bail after entering a not guilty plea to all of the allegations listed above. On November 15, he is expected to appear in court for his preliminary exam hearing.