Department says Iowa inmate who killed 2-year-old has died - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Family responds to death of Iowa inmate who killed their 2-year-old

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CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a man has died while serving a life sentence for killing a 2-year-old girl more than 40 years ago in Waterloo.

The Iowa Corrections Department said Monday that 71-year-old Russell Fitz died Sunday at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville. He'd been assigned there because of his chronic illness.

Fitz was charged with first-degree murder for the slaying of Michelle Day in June 1974. A detective found her body in a crawl space over Fitz's apartment bathroom. She'd been strangled.

Below is a response from the family of Michelle: 

While this is certainly news that brings closure to our family, more importantly it will bring true justice for our beloved angel Michelle. He may have spent 44 years behind bars but today he faces his true judgment. Our family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts for never forgetting our loved one, the support through the years, and the love that has rained down on us. For this we are forever grateful. Thank you.

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