March 22, 2020
37 years is a long time to have avoided prison.
lol j/k, he’s black.
He’s been in and out of prison his whole life.
After nearly four decades, there has been a movement in a small-town murder.
Friday, police announced that the longtime suspect in the 1983 murder of White Cloud resident Rick Atwood is in a Minnesota jail.
It’s now only a matter of time before the 55-year-old Roy Leando Snell, the suspect in this 37-year-old homicide, is extradited to the Newaygo County Jail.
Newaygo County Sheriff Bob Mendham had just graduated high school in August 1983. The last time 25-year-old Rick Atwood was seen alive pumping gas in his 1975 Trans-Am in White Cloud.
He knew the Atwood family and went to school with Snell, who is held in the Hennepin County Jail, just east of Minneapolis.
“I think it gives the community a little bit of relief. There’s always that little piece in the back of your mind that wonders, are we living with a murderer?” Mendham said. “The investigators from the very beginning, just wouldn’t let it go.”
Snell has been the main suspect from the beginning when Atwood’s car was found 50 miles away in Grand Rapids at an East Leonard Avenue service station.
The forensic investigation found evidence that led them to believe he had been shot in the front seat of his car by someone on the passenger side, and then he was moved to the trunk where he likely died.
In the nearly four decades since the crime, Snell has been in and out of prison throughout the Midwest.
“This particular suspect needed to be off the streets because it wasn’t just this one-off thing that he did and then he just hid. He has been committing crimes since then and it’s good that police were finally able to get him off the streets,” Decker said.