On December 19, 1992, police responded to a frantic 911 call in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and discovered Michelle Witherell, 24, who had apparently fallen from her third-floor balcony.
Although the death was first ruled an accident by law enforcement, subsequent investigation revealed that it was a homicide.
‘Crime Scene Confidential: Justice for Michelle‘ on Investigation Discovery explores Michelle’s terrible murder and follows the investigation that tried to offer peace to her family. Let’s go deeper into the case and learn more about it, shall we?
Who Is Michelle Witherell And How Did She Die?
Michelle Witherell, a native of Denver, Colorado, married Jeremy Witherell in 1992. Michelle went to Pittsburgh a few months before her death because her husband had gotten a job there.
When things took a deadly turn, she was looking forward to starting a beautiful life with her husband. Michelle was characterised by friends and neighbours as someone who was extremely compassionate and free-spirited.
She always had a kind remark for everyone she encountered and was never short of a grin.
People were understandably stunned by Michelle’s death, as they struggled to comprehend how someone could harm such a nice person.
Jeremy Witherell called the police on December 19, 1992, alleging that his wife had fallen from their third-floor balcony. When first responders arrived, they discovered Michelle in a pool of blood on the ground beneath the balcony.
Michelle, surprisingly, was still alive, and officers moved her to a local hospital right away. Her head was caved in from what appeared to be a blunt force injury, her jaw was shattered, and she even had both wrists cracked while she was in a coma, according to the doctors.
Her teeth and nose, strangely enough, were unharmed. She lost the battle against death, however, and died from her injuries hours after the accident. Her body was then autopsied, but medical examiners were unable to ascertain the specific cause of her death.
Who Killed Michelle Witherell And Why?
Interestingly, the show noted that three tales of Michelle’s death began circulating shortly after her death. First, Jeremy claimed he was playing solitaire in the living room when he heard a loud boom from the balcony during his initial interrogation.
When he arrived to investigate, he discovered Michelle in a pool of blood on the ground below. However, after speaking with his parents, Jeremy said that he discovered Michelle dangling from the balcony’s edge, and that despite his best efforts, he was unable to save her.
The show also mentioned how Jeremy’s mother told Michelle’s parents about a third version of the events. The victim was trying to put up Christmas decorations on the balcony when she lost her balance and fell.
The contradictory testimonies were suspicious enough, and the investigators soon discovered Michelle and Jeremy had a tumultuous relationship.
According to the episode, the couple’s neighbours complained about the couple’s frequent noisy fights, which sometimes got violent.
Michelle had encouraged Jeremy to improve his conduct in a note posted to the fridge, which the detectives discovered. Michelle’s injuries, on the other hand, sparked doubts because her head wound appeared to have been inflicted prior to her death.
Furthermore, despite her fractured wrists, her palms were neither bruised or cut, which appeared odd, especially after her fall.
Jeremy also waited to close the balcony door and double lock the apartment before stepping down, despite his claim that he was frightened about his wife’s fall.
With Jeremy still under suspicion, the cops made him take two polygraph tests, which he passed. Michelle’s parents, on the other hand, were adamant about not giving up. Three forensic pathologists were called in to rule it a homicide, according to the show.
In 1998, the police resurrected the case as a homicide inquiry. On December 20, 1999, Jeremy was charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter after a thorough investigation.
What Has Happened to Jeremy Witherell And Where Is He Now?
When domestic violence claims were brought up in court, Jeremy Witherell pled not guilty and maintained on his innocence. In 2001, the jury decided in his favour, and Jeremy was exonerated of all charges.
Even though Michelle’s family believed that justice had not been served, the double jeopardy law prevented Jeremy Witherell from being tried again on the same accusations.
Regardless, the authorities closed the case after determining that the death was an accident, according to the show.
Jeremy Witherell has decided to live a secluded life away from social media and the public domain since his acquittal. However, it appears that he is still residing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.