Author Topic: Donna Filiszewski | 52 | Murder Unsolved | Body Discovered September 12, 2006  (Read 3389 times)


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Reward offered in murder case
Posted 2 years ago

Police are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the murder of Donna Filiszewski.

The 52-year-old woman was found dead in her bed at the former Luxury Inn in Chatham on Sept. 12, 2006.

"It is a vicious crime that happened in this community and we need the assistance of the community to help us solve her murder," said Insp. George Flikweert, head of the Chatham-Kent Police Service's major crime unit.

Chief Carl Herder said this is the first time a reward has been offered by the service since he's been an officer.
He said investigators believe offering a reward could lead to a break in the case.

"Her circumstances of death are unusual in that her lifestyle made it hard to identify a suspect," he said.

"The circumstances of her residence and the people in that area make it an extremely difficult case to investigate."

Flikweert said police interviewed many people about the woman's death, but he believes there are others who have information that could help determine how she died.

It's hoped that the reward will be an incentive for someone to come forward, he added.

Filiszewski was last seen alive at the Michener Avenue motel on Sept. 10. Police want to speak with anyone with information about her death, particularly about her movements during the days leading up to Sept. 12.

Flikweert wouldn't release any information about how Filiszewski died.
"That information may only be known by her killer," he said.

He said DNA testing was done on more than 20 people, but no matches have been found at this point.

Filiszewski, also known as "cat lady," had 17 cats living with her at the motel.

Her longtime friend Wendy Horneman said Filiszewski loved her cats with all of her heart.

"They were like her kids," she said. "That's all she had."

Horneman, who met Filiszewski more than 30 years ago, said she wasn't an easy person to know and kept to herself.

"I think she loved her cats so much because she felt they were the only things that loved her," Horneman said. "She was very careful about who she let close to her."

Her friend said Filiszewski rarely let people into the places she lived, often concerned that people were out to get her.

"She really felt alone in this world," she said.

Horneman tried to be someone Filiszewski could lean on.

"Most of the time I was there for her, just to give a listening ear," she explained. "She just needed to have somebody to talk to, who she could trust."

The two would periodically get together for coffee and Filiszewski would call Horneman when she needed help with something.

Horneman said while Filiszewski didn't have a lot of money, she was very generous and thoughtful.

"She was very giving," her friend said. "She was willing to share what she had."

Horneman hopes that Filiszewski's killer is caught she wants answers about what happened to her friend and why.

Anyone with any information that could help with the investigation is urged to call the major crime unit at 519-436-6616 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Article ID# 901162


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Now considered a cold case.  Police appeal again to the public.