Anniversary of Michelle Packard's Death - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Anniversary of Michelle Packard's Death

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)- Michelle Packard was among the thousands at Lansing's Adado River Front Park one year ago today –a celebration turned tragedy, in just a matter of seconds.

"It was just a normal night and apparently around 9:00, 9:30 she'd collapsed. People thought she had a seizure," said Pamela Leidlein, Michelle's mother.

"Something happened to Michelle, she got hit in the head with something and she's unconscious and I'm like okay that's weird," said Michelle's sister, Elyse Packard.

 Little did anyone know, 34-year-old Michelle, a Bio-Systems Engineering doctoral student at MSU –daughter, sister, and stepmother was hit by a stray bullet from a gun which police believe someone outside the park shot into the air.

"Doctors told us there was nothing they could do. I just went into shock, into anxiety," said Leidlein.

"[You] can't prepare yourself for walking into a room and knowing your sister's not alive," said Elyse.

Michelle didn't survive, the bullet lodged into her brain.

"That bullet has to come down and it just came down on my daughter. I'd like someone to take responsibility for it," said Leidlein.

Three police agencies worked on the case, and to this day very few questions about that night have answers.

"Our hearts really go out to them. That case is still open. It's still being looked at, we're still receiving information," said Lansing Police Captain Daryl Green.

One year later, Michelle's mother and sister say the pain is still fresh in their hearts.

"There's one person in everyone's life who absolutely knows them better than they know themselves and she just did," said Elyse.

Michelle's family won't spend the Fourth of July holiday in Lansing, saying they're torn between honoring a memory and forgetting a tragedy.

"My mom and I can just celebrate her life. She would want us to tell really dumb jokes and really stupid stories about growing up, and not be sad about it, even though it's devastating," said Elyse.

Michelle's family says the scars serve as a reminder every day of how big a loss Michelle is, not only for them, but for everyone whose life she touched.

"She was a person who could literally change the world in some way with her research and her ability to think outside the box," said Elyse.

"I want to reach for that phone many times and give her a call and I have to stop myself because I know she's not there to answer," said Leidlein.



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