LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. – It will be 20 years next month since Michigan teacher Paige Renkoski vanished. But investigators working the cold case said they could be closer to uncovering who's responsible for her disappearance.
Renkoski's car was found along westbound Interstate 96 near the Fowerlerville exit with its engine still running on May 24, 1990. Investigators found her purse and shoes inside.
Thousands of tips have poured in since then, but Renkoski has never been found.
Members of the Livingston County Sheriff's Cold Case Unit said they're narrowed their focus to a person of interest from the Detroit area and have a sketch of him, too.
Investigator Joe Morrow said he had a 1999 sketch of the man aged to the present day by a forensic artist, and is hoping someone will recognize him.
Morrow said the man has a violent history, including trying to impersonate an officer.
The leading theory in Renkoski's disappearance is that someone posed as an officer, possibly after a road rage incident, and got her to pull over. Witnesses have told authorities that they saw a woman matching Renkoski's description talking to a man on the side of the interstate just hours before her car was discovered.
"This was a fellow who tried to pull a woman over, he had a security officer's badge, on I-96 by the Kensington exit. He tried to badge her and pull her over," said investigator Mike Frayer.
The investigators said they're also revisiting a tantalizing connection to the case and the person of interest -- seven months before Renkoski disappeared, a Washtenaw County woman was killed and her car was found in Canton Township's Griffin Park.
The connection is that, like Renkoski, all of the woman's belongings were left behind in her car.
"Her car was found in the park with the keys in it, with her purse and shoes," Morrow said. "The day that Paige went missing, she was at the same park."
The investigators said the man in the sketch was prosecuted for trying to pull the woman over by the Kensington exit, but that they have not been able to talk to him about Renkoski.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Livingston County Sheriff's Office.