Crime Stoppers offering reward in 70-year-old Wayne man's murder

Nathan Mitchell found dead in January

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DETROIT - Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 reward for information that helps close the case of a 70-year-old Wayne man's murder.

Nathan Mitchell was found dead Jan. 17 by officers who were sent to check on him in the 35000 block of Glenwood Road.

Mitchell lived next to the William C. Franks Furniture Store that exploded in 2010 due to a gas leak. After the explosion, Mitchell ran to what was left of the furniture store and did what he could to put out the flames that were burning the legs of Paul Franks, owner of the store who was still trapped under the rubble. He was the one holding Franks' hand while he was fighting for his life. Firefighters were able to free Franks.

READ: Wayne furniture store closes after deadly 2010 explosion

READ: Wayne Explosion Survivor Released From Hospital

Mitchell's home was damaged in the incident but he said the families of the victims lost so much more and his heart went out to the loved ones of Jim Zell and Leslie Machniak who died in the incident.

Mitchell had two children, Frank and Joe, and three grandsons. His son Joe was murdered in Detroit several years ago.

Mitchell was retired from Ford Motor Company as an assembly line worker and was a Vietnam veteran. 

Crime Stoppers of Michigan is offering a cash reward of up to $2,500 for information that leads to an arrest. If the tip that leads to an arrest is received by midnight Thursday, there is an additional $1,000 reward for a total of $3,500.

Anyone who has information regarding the crime should call Crime Stoppers of Michigan at 1-800-SPEAK-UP or 1-800-773-2587.

All calls and cash rewards are completely anonymous.

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