MOSES LAKE, WASH., FEB. 6 -- A nationally broadcast television show, "Unsolved Mysteries," led to the arrest today of a Maryland teen-ager and her boyfriend who are wanted in Michigan for robbery and murder, police said.
Immediately after the show aired on NBC-TV Friday night, Moses Lake police received 15 to 20 calls from town residents who said they recognized the two suspects identified in one of the segments, said Sgt. Dennis Duke.
Duke said his department checked with police in Waterford Township, Mich., and discovered there were outstanding warrants for Jerry Wayne Strickland, 26, of West Virginia, and Melissa Munday, 17, of Hancock, Md., who was living with him.
Police in Michigan said the two are wanted in the slaying of Elmer DeBoer near Detroit in May 1987. Munday, who was 16 at the time of the slaying, is being charged as an adult, said Sgt. Donald Bailey, Michigan state police spokesman.
Bailey said DeBoer was employed as a courier for the Leemon Oil Co. He apparently arrived at a Union 76 filling station in Waterford Township May 11, 1987, to pick up the weekend receipts. Bailey said Munday was working as an assistant manager at the station that morning. Strickland had been employed at the firm but had been fired.
DeBoer's body was found May 12. About $10,000 in receipts he had collected were missing. And he had been shot twice in the back of the head.
Strickland is wanted for murder and armed robbery in Waterford Township and for fraud and passing bad checks in Manassas, Va., Duke said. Munday is wanted for questioning about the murder in Waterford Township.
A camera crew filmed the crime scene in Michigan last fall and traveled to Hancock, Md., in November to recreate events leading up to Munday's disappearance from her parents' home.
Munday was last seen in Hancock April 17, 1986. Described as a good student and basketball player, she did not report for classes at Hancock High School that day. She is considered a runaway.
Emily Berry, a field producer for "Unsolved Mysteries," said Strickland apparently drifted into Hancock and approached Munday's parents about renting or buying a house. From there, Berry said, "he worked his way into her life."
Police said the two were arrested in their home without incident. He said they would be held in the Grant County Jail pending their extradition to Michigan. He said they indicated they will not fight extradition.