Homicide of West Michigan’s Renee Pagel to be Featured on Dateline Friday
The 2006 murder of Renee Pagel, a 41-year-old mother of three, shook the West Michigan community. Pagel, who was recovering from surgery after donating a kidney to a father of one of her student's, was killed in her Rockford-area home.
While police had a primary person of interest, they were unable to charge him due to his solid alibi, Wood TV 8 reports. The case eventually went cold. But friends and family never gave up: A social media page "Justice for Renee Pagel" and a website WhoKilledRenee.com were started in the years that followed her murder.
Last fall, 14 years after her death, her killer was finally brought to justice.
In October 2020, Michael Pagel, the victim's estranged husband at the time, was sentenced to 25-50 years in prison for second-degree murder. The Pagels had been going through a divorce and living apart for more than a year. According to WZZM-13, prosecutors called Pagel's death "a senseless act of violence carried out by a selfish man who wasn’t getting all that he wanted in the divorce."
The case was recently featured on the Oxygen TV network, and the Kent County Sheriff's Office shared to Facebook that it was also be covered by Dateline NBC this Friday.
"Dateline: Window of Opportunity" will air at 9 p.m. on Friday, May 7.
Wood TV 8 investigator Susan Samples, who's been covering the homicide since it happened, will appear in the episode.