Three Murders in Delhi This Year: No Trend, Sheriff's Office Says

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Vanessa Pruitt died not too far from the spot where Ronald Lee Wells died in August -- both near the corner of Aurelius and Willoughby roads in Delhi Township, just south of Lansing.

Although there have been only a handful of murders in each community so far this year, Pruitt's death brings the township and it's roughly 25,000 residents to three murders for the year -- close to the murder total in the city of Lansing, population 115,000.

"All three are totally isolated incidents," Ingham County Undersheriff Matthew Myers said.

The Ingham County Sheriff's Office patrols the township, although trustees are exploring the cost associated with forming a police department just for Delhi.

Myers says he doesn't believe the crimes are part of a trend.

"I would not draw the conclusion that there's some growing problem in Delhi Township. I don't see that," he said.

Still, after the Wells murder in August and another non-fatal shooting nearby, Randy and Shelly Yeadon, along with neighbor Pete Miehlke, restarted a neighborhood watch and closer contact with the sheriff's office.

"If there's a problem, we're on the phone," Shelly Yeadon said. "They're on the phone with us."

The three say despite the news of another homicide, they've actually seen a decrease in neighborhood crime since they revived the neighborhood watch four months ago.

They say the people making trouble know they're being watched.

"A lot of U-Hauls. The people are leaving the area," Randy Yeadon said.

Thanks to the watch, they say, but also to increased sheriff patrols. Myers says the most recent murder doesn't appear to be random.

"We don't see it as somebody who's going to endanger the general public," he said.

Comforting words to neighbors who say they won't be forced out of their homes by crime.