January 26, 2021


BAY CITY, MI — Two Bay County women have died after a car they were in was submerged in the Saginaw River.

The Bay City Department of Public Safety confirmed that Janet Korpal, 81, and Nicholette Korpal, 52, died the evening of Monday, Nov. 30. The women were mother and daughter, police said.

A few hours earlier, at about 2:20 p.m., Bay City Public Safety personnel responded to a report of a vehicle that had driven into the river from a parking lot near Bigelow Park on Middleground Island. A witness had said two women were in the vehicle, described by Public Safety Deputy Director Caleb Rowell as a black Mercury Milan.

After floating for a brief time, the Milan became submerged in the water with both Korpals still inside, police said.

Emergency responders pulled the women from the car. The Korpals were taken to McLaren Bay Region hospital and died sometime after 5 p.m.

Autopsies are planned to determine the Korpals’ causes of death. Police did not say who had been driving the Milan.

Multiple agencies responded to the scene and lent assistance, including the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State Police, Essexville Department of Public Safety, Medstar Ambulance Service, and the Bangor Township Fire Department.

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SAGINAW, MI — A Saginaw man is in jail after police say they foiled a suspected kidnapping in progress.

About 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 23, two Saginaw police officers were in the 2400 block of Davenport Avenue when a Chrysler 200 went past them with a rear passenger door open and woman from within screaming for help. The officers attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle near Davenport and Bay Road, believing they were witnessing a potential kidnapping or human-trafficking situation.

The Chrysler did not stop and instead continued north on Bay Road into Bay County, entering the southbound Interstate 75 ramp, police said. The pursuing officers lost contact with the Chrysler as it continued south on I-75.

A short while later, a third Saginaw police officer located the vehicle on southbound I-675 and attempted to pull it over. The Chrsyler fled and left the highway at the Hill Street exit, police said.

The vehicle continued trying to elude the pursuing officers by traveling along several side streets. The Chrysler eventually stopped on coming to a dead end on Westervelt Road in Zilwaukee, police said.

The 28-year-old male driver fled from the Chrysler and was apprehended by police after a short foot chase.

The 25-year-old woman in the rear seat who had screamed for help was found safe and unharmed. Officers determined the woman had been involved in a domestic violence situation, had been held against her will and was afraid for her safety, they said.

In a press release, Saginaw Police Chief Robert M. Ruth stated he “is very proud of the officers from our agency and others that assisted with bringing this potential deadly situation to a safe resolution.”

The arrested man’s name is being withheld pending arraignment on criminal charges in Saginaw County District Court.

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