crimes

South Bend, Indiana’s Patrick Gilham arrested almost 35 years after Roxanne Leigh Wood’s death

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Roxanne Leigh Wood of Niles Township, Berrien County, Michigan, United States died on February 20, 1987. She was 30.

On the evening of February 19, 1987, Wood and her husband Terry Wood spent the night out at the H.I.’s Old Towne Saloon in Niles then went to Whites’ Bowling Lanes on South 11th Street in Niles. She left for home at around 12:30 a.m. on February 20, 1987 while he stayed.

Roxanne Leigh Wood
Roxanne Leigh Wood

At around 1:15 a.m. on February 20, 1987, Terry arrived at their Niles residence and found Roxanne dead on the kitchen floor. Her throat was slit and she had apparently been hit over the head with a frying pan. 

Terry called 911 to report that his wife had been sexually assaulted and murdered. No signs of any kind of forced entry into the house was found.

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A sheath for a knife was located near Roxanne’s body but the knife was not found at the crime scene. The deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) found on her body does not belong to Terry so although he was considered a suspect, he has never been arrested or charged.

The case went cold. It was reopened in August 2020 by two detectives from the Michigan State Police Niles Post, who reviewed 3,347 pages of information and conducted additional interviews.

Patrick Gilham (©Michigan State Police Department)
Patrick Gilham (©Michigan State Police Department)

On February 17, 2022, Patrick Wayne Gilham 67, of South Bend, Indiana, USA was arrested at his residence by South Bend Police Department officers on a warrant from the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office. He is accused of breaking into Terry and Roxanne’s house in Niles on February 20, 1987 and fatally stabbing her.

Gilham is being detained in St. Joseph County, Indiana while his extradition to Michigan is pending. He is charged with open murder and breaking and entering of an occupied dwelling.

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