Stepfather named person of interest in murder of Julia Niswender

The Ypsilanti Police Department says it has named a person of interest in connection with the 2012 murder of Julia Niswender.

After two years of searching for answers... Police here in ypsilanti find themselves one step closer to finding a killer. A person of interest has been named in the death of Julia Niswender: her stepfather, James Turnquist. 

He was recently arrested and arraigned in Monroe County on child pornography charges. That crime was reported in February but according to court documents, it happened in November of of 2012. That was just one month before his step-daughter. The EMU student was found in the bathtub of her off campus apartment police say she was choked before being put in the tub.

In the time that followed, the community held vigils In hopes that a killer would soon be brought to justice. James often attended those vigils himself. 

With his arrest on child pornography charges out of Monroe, police are hoping to do something they have never had a chance to do in the past: talk to him about where he was and what he was doing around the time his step-daughter was killed. 

According to Julia's twin sister, Jennifer, questioning him is a waste of time. She says she knows for a fact he had nothing to do with it.

"At the time of her death, we were all at home sleeping," she said.

FOX 2 stopped by the Turnquist's home. There was no answer at the door. 

We also had no luck finding anyone at the home where Turnquist told the court he now stays with friends. Family members of the EMU student tell police they had their suspicions of Turnquist as well. That's just another reason police say he's now a person of interest for homicide. 

Jennifer remains adamant that Turnquist isn't responsible.

"My goal is to find justice for her and I think they are wasting their time," she said.

Turnquist is being held on $100,000 bond. If he's able to post that bond he has to wear a GPS tether, can't go by schools and can't go near his other daughter.
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