- Associated Press - Sunday, October 23, 2016

AUGUSTA, Mich. (AP) - Students in an Olivet College cold case homicide investigations class are searching for clues in the disappearance of a 21-year-old man who went missing more than a decade ago.

Five members of the class helped search fields and woods Sunday in Augusta, the Battle Creek Enquirer reported (https://bcene.ws/2ekZifK ).

Brandon Anderson’s disappearance is one of the cases given to the class to consider and review.

Anderson of Battle Creek last was seen June 20, 2005, after a hit-and-run traffic accident on Interstate 94 west of Battle Creek. He was a passenger in the vehicle and ran into nearby woods.

Police believe Anderson likely died in the woods, the newspaper reported. His body has not been found.

“It’s like reliving it over again, but I am very pleased and I am very grateful,” Anderson’s mother, Felicia Watkins, told the newspaper. “I have welcomed that someone took an interest in trying to find out what happened to him. He doesn’t deserve to be forgotten. Somebody knows something.”

A dozen students are enrolled in the class at the small private school in Olivet.

Associate professor Phil Reed said past police searches north of the freeway turned up nothing, so students thought a search was warranted on the south side of I-94.

“The family never heard from him and he has to be here somewhere,” Reed, a retired Battle Creek police officer, said before Sunday’s search.

He said students have divided the various cases and reviewed reports. They interviewed Watkins last week.

“I didn’t feel the emotional aspect until she came in and was crying,” said student Griffin Lewis, 20.

Lewis of Morrice said he is interested in law enforcement and the cold case class gives students practical experience and prepares them “for what we might see.”

Community Emergency Response Team helped organize the search.

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Information from: Battle Creek Enquirer, https://www.battlecreekenquirer.com


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