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Michigan man implicated in young woman’s 1980 murder

A man from Michigan’s Thumb region has been arrested in the 1980 slaying of a young woman whose body was found at a state game area, authorities said.

Douglas Laming, 70, of Fort Gratiot was arrested Friday in connection with Karen Umphrey’s death and arraigned Sunday on a felony murder charge, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office said.

Umphrey was 21 when her body was found at the State Game Area in Beards Hills on Nov. 2, 1980.


DNA evidence found on Umphrey’s clothing was matched to Laming thanks to advances in DNA testing and genetic genealogical analysis, said Erika Hrynyk, public information officer for the sheriff’s office.

The Michigan State Police and a company that specializes in forensic genetic genealogy analyzed that DNA, revealing information “that previously would have been impossible to find,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

Police also interviewed people connected with Umphrey and Laming in”gathering information and making vital connections,” according to the news release.

Laming remained jailed Monday at the St. Clair County Detention and Intervention Center. He is expected to appear in court for a probable cause conference on Dec. 26, the sheriff’s office said.

Court records do not list an attorney who could speak on Laming’s behalf, a clerk with the 72nd District Court in Port Huron said Monday.

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