SAGINAW, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Megan Drumhiller, a 31-year-old Michigan woman, whose family describes as vivacious and having a great sense of humor, was tragically found dead in her Carrollton Township home on January 28, 2022, shortly after returning from a three-week visit with her family over the holidays.

How did Megan die?

The cause of Megan’s death was determined to be asphyxiation, a revelation that has only deepened the family’s distress. Police have said there were no signs of a break-in, prompting investigators to believe it wasn’t a random incident and that Megan most likely knew the killer and had let the person into her residence.

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Tim and Lynette, Megan’s parents, are usually spending their winters in Florida but were back at their house in Saginaw County in January of 2022 visiting family – including their daughter, Megan.

Tim said that Megan, who he describes as a “daddy’s girl” didn’t have a car and planned on getting rides from her parents while they were in town. He told NBC News’ Dateline, “She had a series of doctor appointments and things like that when we were home. I remember specifically dropping her off at home and telling her I love her and kind of telling her that we’d see her again in a couple weeks.”

Megan went missing after spending the holidays with her family.

 They couple flew back to Florida the next day, never imagining that they had just seen their daughter alive for the last time.

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Lynette, with plans to go back to Michigan at the end of January, had been texting her daughter a few days before she left to go back but communication stopped on January 20th. It didn’t concern Lynette too much because Megan was a 31-year-old adult and her mom assumed she was busy.

Then on January 28th when Lynette was in Michigan and still hadn’t heard from Megan, she got worried. Lynette said, “She’s not answering her phone or responding to texts, and we have plans for me to go pick her up, go out to dinner…I text her significant other and I say, ‘Hey, I can’t reach Megan. Um, have you heard from her?’”

Megan’s body is discovered in her living room.

Megan’s on-again/off-again boyfriend told Megan’s mom that he hadn’t heard from Megan in a few days and said he would go check on her. When he calls Lynette back in the early evening of the 28th, he says that he can see her through the window and she’s on the floor of the living room unconscious. He said he called 9-1-1. Lynette rushed to Megan.

Mom walks into a nightmare.

Instead of being greeted by an ambulance, as Lynette expected, she came upon yellow police crime tape around the property and police cars everywhere. The officer said her daughter was deceased and in his opinion “This is a 99.99% a homicide.”

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The Drumhillers, who say their daughter had no enemies, can’t imagine who would want to kill Megan. And the police couldn’t seem to figure it out either which led to the Drumhillers hiring their own private investigator because they thought the Michigan State Police (MSP), who were doing most of the police work, were dropping the ball.

Parents ask for different police department to investigate daughter’s murder after alleged incompetence.

Megan’s family asked for the case to be turned over to the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Office in June of 2022 and their request was granted. They have alleged that the case has been bungled by both the MSP and the Carrollton Township Police Department.

The Michigan State Police (MSP), for their part, have asserted confidence in the integrity of their assistance, telling Fox News Digital, “Crime Lab and detectives were asked to assist Carrollton Township Police with the Drumhiller homicide investigation,” and that there was “no mishandling of evidence.”

Missed opportunities.

However, the family says that crucial steps were allegedly missed during the early stages. According to Megan’s parents, not all potential eyewitnesses were interviewed, and pertinent camera evidence was overlooked. Compounding the challenges, the family says that the lead detective reportedly worked remotely for a significant portion of the investigation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seldom visiting the crime scene in person.

They also allege that the police had many items that they hadn’t tested for DNA. Additionally, the parents have also revealed a distressing incident where they were erroneously informed about the presence of a second woman’s DNA at the crime scene, only to later learn it was Megan’s DNA that had not been immediately isolated.

Lynette Drumhiller, Megan’s mother, has expressed her shock and frustration to Fox News Digital that two years later, the case hasn’t been solved yet stating that Megan had been very open with them, providing access to various personal details, including passwords, medical records, credit card statements, and phone records – which they turned over to the investigators right away.

Parents offer reward for information about daughter’s murder.

Despite this transparency, no one has been arrested for Megan’s murder yet, leaving the family in anguish. Because of this, the family offered a $100,000 reward back in June of 2023 for any information leading to an arrest.

Tim has said that police believe that forensics will ultimately bring justice for his daughter, saying, ”We were always told that the science would ultimately be what we needed.”

He may be right.

A new sheriff in town: Saginaw County Sheriff’s Office takes over case.

With the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Office now the lead agency handling the case, things appear to be moving in the right direction – and at a faster pace. Tim said that they basically had to start the case over again from scratch “going back out to the neighborhoods, asking all these questions and then, it was just insult to injury, finding out that there were cameras out there, there were neighbors out there that saw certain things and were really willing to talk.”

According to Lieutenant Russell Kolb of the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Office, who spoke with Dateline, he verified that multiple items from Megan’s home have been collected “including but not limited to clothing, household items (cups), couch cushions, and various digital media platforms, (cellphone, laptop, wireless router).”

Lt. Kolb added that many of Megan’s friends have also been interviewed by investigators and his office has conducted “multiple electronic search warrants.”

Person of interest uncovered.

Lt. Kolb also told Dateline that they have identified a possible person of interest via “recent discovery through various electronic search warrants” however the person’s name has not been publicly named.

He also said a CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) hit was made to one of the DNA samples that “matched another sample which was submitted from another agency in Michigan. Investigation into this CODIS hit continues.”

CODIS, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, is a computer software program that operates local, state, and national databases of DNA profiles from convicted offenders, unsolved crime scene evidence, and missing persons.

 DNA evidence is now with a third lab.

Lynette says that the DNA evidence is now at a third lab and “a lot of it has still not been processed. We’ve been told, that in some cases, at a cold case lab like this lab is, it can take a year, maybe even two years…In the meantime, more crimes are committed, things pile up, she (Megan) becomes further and further down the stream and we just wish somebody would make her a priority like she is for us.”

Family remembers Megan as investigation continues.

Megan, a dancer and writer, was the eldest of four children and the only girl. Lynette says about her daughter, “She had the best laugh of anyone” adding that she was “creative” and “extremely smart.”

Her dad, Tim says, “She was definitely a daddy’s girl…I mean, she obviously loved both of us, but I think Megan and I had a special bond as most dads try to. We had kind of shared our love of music and she kind of adapted to some of my artists from my era, so that was fun.”

As the investigation continues, the Drumhiller family implores anyone with information about the case to contact the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Office Hotline at 989-790-5423 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-422-JAIL.