Select It Sunday: Shannon Verhage

This week’s Select It Sunday case was chosen by Tracy S.: Shannon Dale Verhage, who disappeared from Cedar Springs, Michigan on June 3, 1997, just twelve days from her first birthday.

It’s “virtually undisputed” what happened to Shannon:┬áMarvin Gabrion killed her, along with her mother, nineteen-year-old Rachel Timmerman, and dumped them both in a lake in a national forest. Gabrion had raped Rachel shortly after Shannon’s birth, and Rachel and Shannon disappeared just a few days before Rachel was to testify against him. He later allegedly said he “killed the baby because there was nowhere else to put it.”

Michigan doesn’t have the death penalty, but because Rachel was killed on federal land, her murder was prosecuted under federal law and Gabrion was sentenced to death. He’s never been charged in Shannon’s disappearance, or the murder of a man whose body was found in the same lake, or the disappearances of two others he’s suspected of killing.