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Husband charged with wife's murder after nearly 14 years of suspicion


Who killed Renee Pagel? It’s a question that has baffled police since 2006, when someone stabbed the mother of three children to death in her home while recovering from surgery. Friends and authorities all believed that the evidence pointed to her husband, Mike Pagel. The two were going through a contentious divorce, and Renee had even told friends she feared for her life. However, authorities said, they didn’t have enough evidence to charge Mike Pagel with murder at the time.

Now nearly fourteen years later, the Kent County Sheriff’s office Thursday afternoon said that new evidence led to an arrest this morning. Here’s Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker.

“We have issued a first degree murder charged on Michael James Pagel, for the killing of his wife Renee,” Becker said. "I don’t have information on the arraignment, and obviously he is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”

Credit Kent County Sheriff's Office
Michael Pagel (above) is charged with first degree murder in the death of his wife Renee

Becker would not comment on the details of the new evidence, only commenting that it would soon become known when the prosecutor's office presents it in court.

Hey also would not comment on the three children, and whether or not they support their father, only to say that they are all grown now and are aware of his arrest.

The case had gone cold for over 12 years, until a Cold Case Team began to take another look around 2 years ago.

Some family members sobbed as the Prosecutor announced that Mike Pagel was taken into custody Thursday morning.