GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Cold Case Thawed: Justice for Lisa Holstead

Local News

34 years later, police make a break in Green Bay’s oldest Cold Case

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — It all started between 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. on August 12th, 1986.

Lisa Holstead reportedly jumped from her boyfriend’s car at the intersection of Mason St. and Taylor St.

12 hours later, she was reported missing.

It was just an hour after that when her body was discovered, at what’s now the Ken Eures Nature Area.

In 2005, Lisa’s sister, Susan, spoke with Local 5 about missing her sister, and everything Lisa had missed out on, including raising the son she had left behind.

“Especially at times when, like the first day of school that her son started, she missed that. She missed her son getting married,” Susan told Local 5 in 2005.

Milestones missed by a mother, whose case detectives never gave up on.

In 2005, Local 5 spoke with the then-lead detective on the case.

“We’re able to re-process evidence that we processed years ago or even recently and be able to gather more information off of it,” Detective Robert Haglund, who is now retired, said in that interview.

Susan never gave up hope.

“Somebody back then, during the 19 years, have grown up a little bit,” she said, “maybe straightened out their path and has a conscious to help us out here.”

It wouldn’t be a conscious developing that ultimately lead to the arrest of a suspected killer.

Rather, new DNA technology, used for the very first time in Green Bay, led to the October 2020 arrest of 65-year-old Lou Archie Griffin.

“This is the first case that I’m aware of that we’ve ever used any type of procedure like this,” Detective David Graf of the Green Bay Police Department told Local 5.

Genetic Genealogy was only recently made available to the department.

“The best cases for this type of investigation is really, mostly is typical towards violent crime, a case where you pretty much exhausted all the leads,” Detective Graf explained.

Leads may have been exhausted, but the drive to find out who was responsible for Lisa Holstead’s death was never extinguished.

This is part one of a two-part series. Watch Local 5 News at 6 on Monday, February 15th for the second installment.

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