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Parents hope documentary helps solve son's murder | News

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Parents hope documentary helps solve son's murder

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Nothing else has solved the murder of Joel Battaglia 24 years ago, so his family and friends are hoping a documentary about his life and death may lead to useful clues.

Death of a Phoenix: The Eastown Murder of Joel Battaglia premiered Wednesday night at the Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids.

Battaglia, 23, was clubbed to death on June 11, 1990, while walking home alone from Mulligan's Bar in Eastown.

No one was ever arrested.

So filmmaker David Schock, who makes films about unsolved murders, produced a documentary about the crime and the victim.

His parents, Jerry and Gail Battaglia, say Joel wanted to be a teacher, like his parents.

At the documentary's premiere, they said the film honors Joel. The called the prayers and support from the community overwhelming.

Through it all, they hope this film encourages someone with information about Joel's death to come forward.

The filmmaker calls this a case of delayed justice -- not a cold case.