FLINT, Mich. (AP) — A 75-year-old Michigan woman was sentenced to at least nine years in prison Friday for the 1998 death of her granddaughter, whose remains have never been found.
Lois Janish of Flint pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in September. She told police that she beat her granddaughter with a hammer and scattered her remains with help from a boyfriend, but she recanted that story and others.
Coral Hall, 14, disappeared in 1998 after using a pay phone near a Flint tavern.
Janish was silent in court Friday.
“I had hoped she’d lead us to the body but that didn’t happen,” Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton said.
Judge Joseph Farah acknowledged the sentence was below the guidelines. But he said it would have been a tough trial for prosecutors.
“It’s not only tragic, it’s ugly how this poor girl had to have her life ended in the most violent of fashions for no reason whatsoever,” Farah said.
Janish’s release from prison will be up to the Michigan parole board. She’ll be eligible after serving nine years in custody, including more than two years spent in jail since she was charged in 2013.
Detective Sgt. Greg Hosmer told The Flint Journal that he’ll continue to search for Hall’s remains.
“It may be over for her,” he said of Janish, “but I’m still looking.”