Wednesday, August 24, 2016

UPDATE: Esther Gaffney homicide case

In an effort to leave no stone unturned and follow the evidence they’ve uncovered in the unsolved homicide case, Michigan State Police are spending the day diving bodies of water near the former home of Esther Gaffney. The then eighty-year-old Tustin widow was found by a family member on July 12, 2004. At the time, in preparation for a move, Mrs. Gaffney had been getting ready for an estate sale.

The perpetrator - apparently trying to hide evidence - set a fire that snuffed itself out before it could overtake the dwelling. This fact may prove unfortunate for the perpetrator, yet fortuitous for investigators who were able to obtain evidence at the scene that may have otherwise been consumed with the house and its contents.

According to investigators, there was no documented evidence of forced entry to the home. I asked Det. Sgt. Forner of the Michigan State Police if Mrs. Gaffney could have known the perpetrator (or perpetrators) and let them inside. He said that was a possibility.

I was told they do have persons of interest in this case.

The dive team was doing what they called a swing line search, meticulously covering an underwater grid while moving across the body of water a couple feet at a time, searching the mucky bottom by hand. They also had a team using a metal detector. According to investigators, they are looking for a weapon related to the crime that may have been disposed of near the scene.

If you have any information about the murder of Esther Gaffney, please contact the TIP LINE at 989-775-9302 or email Det. Sgt. John Forner at

A few items they found while I was there.

The former home of Esther Gaffney sits empty.