SHAWN PATRICK RAYMOND: Disappeared from Gay bar in Detroit on July 21, 1983 / skull found in 1992 - Age 19


Shawn was last known to be at Menjo's Bar, a gay bar in Detroit, MI. His skull was found in 1992 in the Clinton River in Mount Clemens, it is believed that he was a homicide victim. The rest of his body has not been recovered.


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Family prays for answers 35 years after Algonac man went missing

Liz Shepard, Times Herald Published 10:13 a.m. ET Aug. 1, 2018 | Updated 12:15 p.m. ET Aug. 1, 2018

Thirty-five years ago, when her big brother was graduating from Algonac High School, 14-year-old Kit Coyners slipped a card under his bedroom door.

She idolized her brother, the guy who got along with everybody and every girl wanted to know.

Shawn Raymond opened the door to find his little sister crying outside. "Every Breath You Take," by the Police was playing on his stereo.

"He said, 'I'm only graduating, I'm not going anywhere, I'll always be there for you,'" Coyners said. "And less than a month later he was gone. That song can still bring tears to my eyes."

Coyners, who now lives in Florida, said she has been speaking about the case recently in hopes of unearthing new leads and finding answers to what happened 35 years ago.

"I feel we're supposed to know the end of his story," she said.

Shirley Raymond, their mother, said she needs to know what happened.

"Yes I’m angry, yes I’m emotional, yes I miss my kid more than anything in the world. But somebody out there’s got to know something," she said. "And it's not closure until I get it and I hope I get it before I die, but I’m 86 already."

He simply vanished. It wasn't until years later that his family learned he had died — murdered.

Shawn, 19, worked at a restaurant in Algonac. On the last day he was seen alive, he had plans to go to a gay bar in Detroit with friends. Coyners said being gay or bisexual in a small town in 1983 kept many people quiet when investigators started looking into why Shawn hadn't come home the following day.

"In 1983, you just didn't talk about stuff like that," she said.

Coyners said some of Shawn's friends hired lawyers, some took polygraphs, some refused, some passed, some failed, and more lawyers got involved.

"I don't understand if you had nothing to do with anything or no knowledge of anything, why would you not want to talk to the police if that was your friend," she said.

They didn't find Shawn. They didn't find his car. For 21 years, there was nothing.

"For that 20, 21 years we had no idea," Coyners said. "We lived a nightmare for that long, so there was always this little sliver of hope that maybe he was still alive, just whooping it up somewhere. But I knew in my heart he wouldn’t do that my mom, to the family."

Shirley Raymond said her son was compassionate and caring and kind to everyone.

"Well, he was the greatest kid you could ever want to have," she said.

An unidentified skull

The first break in Shawn's case came in 1992.

A skull was found in material dredged out of the Clinton River in Harrison Township. But it wasn't identified as Shawn's until 2004.

Michigan State Police Detective Sgt. Sarah Krebs is a forensic artist and was a road patrol trooper when she received the skull after it had been sitting in a Macomb County Sheriff Department evidence room for years.

"That case has definitely formed a foundation for what I do today," said Krebs, who now runs a statewide missing persons unit.

While the family didn't recognize the face she reconstructed by layering the skull with clay, someone did, and Shawn was identified through dental records.

Krebs said the case was her first identification through forensic art.

"It really made me a victims' advocate for the family members of missing persons," she said.

While Krebs' job doesn't usually allow her to see cases full circle, she is still in contact with the Raymond family.

Shirley Raymond credits Krebs and the original Michigan State Police investigator on the homicide, Patrick Young, for going beyond expectations for Shawn.

"These two who worked on this case, Patrick Young and Sarah Krebs, they couldn't have done anymore," she said.

Raymond said she was devastated when she learned the skull was her son's, and also angry that it had taken so long to discover.

"Nothing happened until the Michigan State Police got into it," she said. "And I thank God that the lord sent Patrick Young and Sarah to us or we never would have known nothing — nothing at all."

Young, now commander of the Michigan State Police Major Case Unit embedded with the Flint Police Department, said he still believes the case will be solved.

"Absolutely, somebody knows, there is somebody or more than one person out there that knows exactly what happened, no doubt in my mind," Young said.

He said the case has regularly been discussed between himself and a detective at the Michigan State Police Lapeer Post.

"As many homicides as we get in Flint, a case like Shawn Raymond, I can't forget it," Young said.

Time hasn't eased the pain
"For me, I can't set this down and walk away and not ever think of it again.”
The pain of losing a child and not knowing what happened hasn't eased for Shirley Raymond as the years have moved by.

"It just makes it more devastating that you don't know what happened, or why," she said. "Why couldn't they put his body in the car and parked it some place so we would know right away. Why did they have to dump it in the river weighted down?"

She and Coyners both believe more information has to be out there and the case isn't closed.

"Obviously people know something, people were afraid to talk, I just pray that it has been so long, maybe its been weighing on someone's heart," Coyners said.

Shirley Raymond said she can feel the presence of her son around her.

She hopes people will talk to police.

"Even something little, something they can grasp on to," Shirley Raymond said.

"The contractor that was dredging the river, they piled the dirt up on the side and he said it started to rain so hard, so he left and went home, and it rained like that for three days, and he said when he came back to finish the job, Shawn's skull was sitting on top and he said he’ll never forget that feeling in all his life because it was like somebody crying out for help."

Anyone with any information about what happened to Shawn Raymond is asked to call the Michigan State Police at (855) 642-4847 or email at

"For me, I can't set this down and walk away and not ever think of it again," Young said.


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Still no arrests on 35 years after murder of Michigan teen Shawn Raymond
by Juliet Muir

As a student attending Algonac High School, 19-year-old Shawn Raymond was special. He was extremely well-liked, his sister Kit Raymond-Coyners told Dateline.

“He was good looking, had a good sense of humor, and he was down to earth,” she said. According to Kit, who was four years younger than Shawn, “He was very popular in school had a lot of friends.”

Shawn was one of five siblings. His other sister, Tracy Raymond-Kohmann, told Dateline they were a very tight-knit family.

“All of us were close siblings,” she recalled to Dateline. “Shawn was extremely loving and very caring.”

Shawn graduated in the summer of 1983. He was working at a restaurant in Algonac, Michigan and had plans on attending Macomb Community College in the fall, his mother Shirley Raymond told Dateline.
Shawn had also recently come out as gay to his mother and was learning how to become comfortable with his identity.

On the night of July 21, 1983, Shawn finished his shift at the restaurant, and had plans to go out in Detroit with his friends, Shirley said.

“He was supposed to meet up with them,” Shirley told Dateline. “Shawn was just 19, so he was old enough to spend the night away from home. But he always let me know.”

Shawn and his friends went to Menjo’s, a gay bar in the city. Michigan State Police Lieutenant Patrick Young confirmed to Dateline that Shawn was last seen around closing time. Shawn, who had driven to the city in his Chevy, did not come home that night.

The next morning, Shirley was worried that she hadn’t heard from her son. “No matter what he did, or where he was, [he] would have called Mom,” Shawn’s sister Tracy told Dateline.

So, Shirley went through her son’s phone bill to get his friends’ phone numbers and started calling around.

Shawn’s two older brothers drove to Detroit to search for him that day, their mother said. When days went by without word from Shawn, Kit says her family began making flyers to get the word out about her brother to try to find out what happened to him.

Days became months, and months became years.

And then, in September of 1992, a skull was found in the Clinton River near Harrison Township, Michigan. According to Lt. Young, every few years the river gets dredged and it was during one of those dredgings, that workers came upon the unidentified skull. It was turned over to the Michigan State Police, and remained in their custody until March of 2004.

At that time the skull was given to Sergeant Sarah Krebs, a forensic artist, to try to identify.

“It was the very first case I took on as a forensic artist,” Sgt. Krebs told Dateline. She worked on the 3-D facial reconstruction in her free time by using clay to mold a face to match the skull.

Months later, Sgt. Krebs said the department released an image of the skull. They then received a tip from another police officer saying that the reconstruction resembled a man he had worked with at a restaurant years earlier, who had gone missing: Shawn Raymond.

Sergeant Krebs was then able to match the skull to Shawn using dental records.

Twenty-one years after Shawn went missing, Lt. Patrick Young began working on his case as a homicide.

“We began reviewing the missing person reports and determined foul play,” Lt. Young told Dateline. “Between 2004 and 2010, we re-interviewed numerous friends and associates of Shawn.” Lt. Young says there have been no significant new leads since 2010.

The positive identification of her son’s skull was difficult for Shawn’s mother.

“You go through a range of emotions," Shirley told Dateline. “You're devastated, you're angry. Why couldn't they have found this out sooner,” she wondered on why it took police 12 years to identify her Shawn’s skull.

Of course, finding Shawn’s skull did not give the family any sense of closure, his sister Kit told Dateline.

“There's always been a part that's been missing, a big void in my life,” Kit told Dateline. “We still don’t know what happened to him.”

Older sister Tracy has her theory about what happened to Shawn. “I do think my brother was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Tracy said. “I don't think it was personal or anybody that he knew.”

Shawn’s case is an active homicide investigation. Since he has since been promoted, Lt. Young is no longer the lead officer on Shawn’s case, but says he still checks on it when he can.

“This [case has] been on my mind. They all bother me, but this one really, really bothers me,” Lt. Young told Dateline.

He said there are two main suspects, whom he would not identify, in the murder of Shawn Raymond, but the department needs witnesses to come forward to make a break in the case.

If you have any information on the circumstances surrounding Shawn Raymond’s death, please contact the Michigan State Police at (855) 642-4847 or via email at


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The case that would become one of Krebs' first identifications began with one of those feeble police investigations. It was the case of Shawn Patrick Raymond of Algonac. In the summer of 1983, Raymond was an attractive, popular kid, a newly minted high school graduate looking at a bright future. He had embarked on a modeling career, signed up for classes at community college, and, at 19 years old, had reached the legal drinking age in Michigan. According to the family, Raymond had already come out to his mom as gay, and, on a fateful night in July, he drove down to Detroit, to meet friends at Menjo's Bar. He was last seen leaving that bar.

Back then, Kathleen "Kit" Conyers was Raymond's 14-year-old little sister. Now she's a mother of three working for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office in Florida. She remembers, "It was totally out of character for him to not contact my mom in some way to let her know that he was OK. So we were immediately worried and everybody was scared."

Police in Algonac and Detroit, however, gave the case short shrift, Conyers says.

"They told my mom that he was an adult. He went to live his own life. Given that it was from Menjo's Bar, a gay bar, it was laughed at back then." She says the search for answers was also frustrated by witnesses who either dummied up or "lawyered up."

More than 20 years later, in October 2003, Krebs started facial reconstruction on a skull that had been dredged out of the Clinton River in 1992. As the skilled forensic artist worked, a face emerged. What happens next sounds straight out of a cheap crime novel: A sergeant Krebs worked with saw the face and swore he recognized it. It reminded him of a former co-worker at an Algonac restaurant. That co-worker's name was Shawn Raymond, and he pointed Krebs toward the case. Amazingly, dental records proved the sergeant correct.

But when the identification kick-started the investigation some 21 years later, the lack of results frustrated Conyers — though she praises Krebs and other state police for trying to restart an investigation "using 20-year-old notes written on scrap paper." Conyers says detectives were especially suspicious of one witness who said he'd speak to police, but kept putting it off for months and ended up getting a lawyer instead.

For all the nice things she has to say about the Michigan State Police, Conyers says the positive ID has offered little real relief. After the investigation stalled, she says, "Everybody went on with their life except for us."

"I don't know where people come up with the word 'closure,'" she says. "I mean, that's the first thing that everyone we knew said: 'Well, there you go. Now you have closure.' Well, not really. Because, like, for my mom, now we knew for sure he's not coming home. But, as a parent, she's still wondering: How did he end up in the water? Did he drown? Was it an accident? Did somebody kill him? Did he suffer? What were his last thoughts? You know, it brought up a lot more questions."


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Menjos Gay Entertainment Complex
Bear, leather, Levi's Burly men in Levi's, drink specials, karaoke, and underwear contests can be found at this nightlife complex.

928 W. McNichols
Detroit, MI48203


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Shawn Raymond was last seen leaving Menjo's Bar in Detroit, MI on July 21, 1983. His skull was recovered in the Clinton River near Harrison Township, Michigan in September 1992, but wasn't identified until 2004. The rest of Shawn's remains have not been found.



Harrison Charter Township is a charter township and a census-designated place of Macomb County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the population was 24,461. The 2008 Census Bureau Estimate places the population at 26,004. Wikipedia


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What jumps out at me is what is stated that several people stopped talking and "Lawyered up" that he knew. If these are his friends, Why would they do that?. Some failed the Polygraph. What?! He was seen at the bar around closing. His skull wasn't found till 92. From 83. There was alot of work to dispose of him. If it wasn't for the digging in the river he probably would still be in the river. It makes me think it was someone he knew. And why would the police not turn over the skull for so long for reconstruction?. It seems he was failed on so many levels. His poor Mother.


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Menjo's opened in 1974. Madonna reportedly liked to hang out there in the mid-to late 70's before she became famous.

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