Coral Hall went missing on Sept. 22, 1998, when she was 14 years old. Her body has not been found, but police may have finally figured out what happened: A detective told a Flint, Michigan, judge this week that Hall's grandmother admitted to killing the girl. Lois Arlene Janish, 73, was arraigned yesterday on a charge of open murder, Michigan Live reports. Janish had had custody of the girl since 1987; Hall's mother died of a drug overdose two years before her daughter vanished.
While Hall was under Janish's care, five protective services investigations were conducted into allegations of medical and physical neglect, among other things, the detective said. Janish's boyfriend, who had been released from prison shortly beforeHall disappeared, was also accused of sexual abuse by the girl. Hall had met with protective services the day before she went missing. The next day, she used a pay phone to call a friend and talk about a fight she'd had with her grandmother. The detective said Janish admitted to hitting her in the head with a hammer and then dismembering her body, but he added that the woman changed or recanted her story more than once. (Read more missing child stories.)