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Janet Chandler killer dies in prison

9:56 PM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
  • 2010 Michigan Department of Corrections photo of Arthur Paiva
  • Janet Chandler
    
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HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- One of the men involved in the 1979 murder of Holland motel employee Janet Chandler has died in prison.

Arthur Paiva turned 61 on March 13, and died the same day, according to a Michigan Department of Corrections website. 

Paiva had been held at the Brooks Correctional Facility in Muskegon, but was transfered on January 28 to a prison hospital in Jackson for treatment.  Corrections department spokesman Russ Marlan says Paiva's death was expected, and he died of natural causes.

Detectives say Paiva was the leader of a group of people involved in Chandler's murder.  Most were security workers guarding Holland's Chemtron plant during a strike, and were staying at the Blue Mill Inn, where Chandler worked. 

Paiva and the others kidnapped, raped murdered the 23-year-old woman in January 1979.

The case remained cold for 28 years until investigators finally got people to start naming names.  A 2006 documentary on Chandler's killing is credited with spurring renewed interest in the case.

Paiva was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.  He was convicted during a 2007 trial.  Three other men -- Freddie Parker, James Nelson and Anthony Williams were found guilty of second-degree murder during the same trial, and all four were convicted on kidnapping charges.

Two other people -- Robert Lynch and Laurie Swank -- testified for the prosecution in the trial and were convicted of second-degree murder.

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