The car of a beloved Michigan substitute teacher is found idling along the shoulder of Interstate 96 in 1990. Paige Renkoski vanished after she dropped her mom off at the airport. Motorists reported seeing her on the side of the road talking to unidentified men—what happened to Paige Renkoski?
Paige Renkoski was an admired substitute teacher from DeWitt Township in Michigan. She was working as a pre-school aid while going to school for a degree in early childhood development. Many who knew Paige describe her as hardworking and fun-loving. At the time of her disappearance, she was engaged to Steve Debrander.
The day Paige went missing
On May 24, 1990, Paige first dropped her mom off at Detroit Metro Airport and then made a pit stop to visit a friend who just had a baby. After visiting her friend, Paige went to a store to pick up beer between 2:30 and 2:45 pm. Allegedly, Paige had stopped on the westbound shoulder of Interstate 96, approximately half a mile from the highway exit for Fowlerville, Michigan.
Witnesses would later tell police that Paige was last seen around 3:30 pm standing by a maroon or burgundy minivan with two unidentified males. According to sources, it is possible that there was a third unidentified man inside or near the van. A witness also said that she saw Paige throw her hands up in their hand and one of the men placed his hand on her shoulder.
Paige is described as a white female with blonde hair and blue eyes. Paige has one surgical scar on her right leg, one long surgical scar on the inside of her right arm, and a scar on her right elbow. Paige also has two surgical screws inserted into her left knee and her right knee has been replaced.
When she was discovered
By 7:30 pm that same evening, a motorist who saw Paige earlier that day noticed that her car had not moved. Police were called and quickly arrived on the scene to find Paige’s 1986 silver Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais on the side of Interstate 96. The car belonged to Paige’s mother's employer.
When investigators arrived at the scene, they found the car’s doors unlocked, the radio still on, and noticed that the engine was idle. Paige’s keys, wallet and shoes were still inside the vehicle along with an open bottle of beer. No damage was done to the vehicle. Prior to her disappearance Paige deposited a large sum of money into her account - the exact amount is unknown- which has remained unused. Paige did not have any travel plans.
Where the case stands today
Paige’s case is still unsolved. Around this time, there were multiple instances of people pretending to be police officers. Was this carjacking gone wrong? What happened to Paige? If you have any information regarding Paige’s case please contact Livingston County Sheriff’s Department Cold Case Tip Line at (517) 540-7880.