Man charged in 1982 murder of Flint Twp. woman extradited from Canada to stand charges

FLINT TWP. — A former Genesee County resident has been extradited from Canada to stand charges in the 1982 shooting death of a Flint Township woman, Prosecutor David Leyton announced Friday, January 8 in a press release.

Jeries Qumsyeh, 62, formerly a resident of Genesee County, and most recently residing in the country of Jordan, was extradited Thursday from Canada and is currently lodged in the Genesee County jail where he awaits prosecution for the 1982 murder of his former wife, Salwa Isaac, of Flint Township who was 37 at the time of her death.

Police investigative reports found that on August 21, 1982, two women on horseback found the decomposed body of a woman lying in a ditch on the North side of Ray Road, just West of Jennings Road in Mundy Township.

An autopsy determined the cause of death to be a single gunshot wound to the left side of the skull, one inch above the ear, with an exit wound on the right side. The exact time of death could not be determined due to decomposition and weather conditions. The identity of the body was not known at that time.

On August 22, the Mundy Township Police were contacted by a man who stated the physical description of the unidentified body matched that of his mother, Salwa Isaac, who had been missing for 5 or 6 days. Flint Township Police had taken a missing person report August 19, 1982. Isaac was last seen alive when she left her place of employment on August 16, 1982 around 11:30 pm. Fingerprint analysis later identified the body as that of Isaac.

Prior to the discovery of Isaac’s body, on August 19, 1982, Mundy Township Police were advised by the Michigan State Police that a small, .25 caliber Beretta handgun had been discovered by a teen while cycling along the road in Fenton Township on August 18, 1982. This location is a short distance southwest of where Salwa Isaac’s body was discovered three days later. It was located in the immediate area of an entrance ramp to the major North-South highway between Mundy and Fenton Townships and Flint, where it was later learned that Jeries Qumsyeh lived and worked in 1982. This location was also near the home of Qumsyeh’s then-girlfriend.

The Mundy Township Police began an investigation which led them to Qumsyeh as their suspect in Isaac’s murder. At one time, according to police interviews with witnesses, Isaac and Qumsyeh had been married but, due to them being cousins, family pressures lead to a divorce.

Mundy Township officers spoke with Qumsyeh on August 24, 1982, and obtained consent to search his two door, 1976 Silver Ford Torino. Evidence found in the vehicle included human blood and lab analysis and other testing on the vehicle led to further probable cause evidence implicating Qumsyeh in Isaac’s murder.

Mundy Township Police had scheduled an interview for Qumsyeh on August 26, 1982. He did not appear for this interview but left a note for the police stating he was sorry he had an immigration appointment in Detroit, but would return later that day for the interview. He never showed up.

On September 13, 1982, a warrant was issued charging Qumsyeh with Open Murder in the death of Isaac. The maximum penalty for this offense is life in prison with no parole. On September 21, 1982, the United States Magistrate for the United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan issued an Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution warrant against Qumsyeh .

Efforts to extradite Qumsyeh from the Kingdom of Jordan, where he fled, were unsuccessful.

On August 15, 2011, United States law enforcement officials learned Qumsyeh had been detained in Canada while trying to enter that country and the FBI then notified the Genesee County Prosecutor’s office. Efforts were immediately begun to have him extradited from Canada to Michigan.

Ultimately, on October 20, 2015, the Canadian Minister of Justice signed an “Order of Surrender” in which they ruled United States federal law enforcement officials could take physical possession of Qumsyeh.

On December 22, 2015, a letter was sent to the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office indicating Qumsyeh would be turned over to the United States on January 7, 2016. Local law enforcement and the FBI took custody of Qumsyeh on that day. — R.S.

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