GRAND RAPIDS, (WZZM) - Grand Rapids police have reopened their investigation into the murder of 23 year old Joel Battaglia. He died from injuries suffered in a beating on June 11, 1990. He was last seen leaving Mulligan's Pub in Eastown early that morning.
Battaglia was found, beaten and unconscious, a half mile away at 1065 Lake Drive. Captain Jeff Hertel of the Grand Rapids Police Department says two detective have been working with an assistant prosecutor in recent months. They were prodded by Kent County Prosecutor Bill Forsyth, who Hertel said was bothered by the fact the murder of the 1985 Catholic Central grad was unsolved.
The work comes as documentary film maker David Schock, Ph.d, is about to unveil a movie about the case called "Death of a Phoenix: The Eastown Murder of Joel Battaglia." In a press release, Schock said:"The goal is for someone to come forward and to provide the police with the one revelation they need to at last fully investigate the homicide, and for Kent County then to successfully prosecute this case. We've said it before and in this case again: 'Somebody knows something; somebody always knows something.'"
Battaglia's parents, Jerry and Gail, say they appreciate the new attention brought to their son's death by police and Schock's film. "Everyone says he's in a better place and he's happy and he's at peace, and I do believe that ... it's just that.... I don't have him, I don't feel him hugging me ... talking to me" Gail Battaglia said Saturday.
Schock's film will be presented, free, on Wednesday, June 11 at the Wealthy Street Theatre at 7 and 9 PM.
More information is available at this website: Delayed Justice.