Man charged with student’s 1981 murder faces preliminary hearing

By Gus Bode

Police will testify, present evidence

A preliminary hearing for the Michigan man charged with the 1981 murder of SIUC student Susan Schumake is scheduled to take place Wednesday afternoon in the Jackson County Jail courtroom in Murphysboro.

Daniel M. Woloson was arrested in Washtenaw County, Mich. late last month and made his first appearance in Jackson County Oct. 1.


Jackson County State’s Attorney Michael Wepsiec said the 45-year-old Woloson did not make a plea at that time and was assigned a public defender. Woloson is in jail on a $500,000 bond.

Wepsiec said Wednesday’s preliminary hearing will present evidence and that “a police officer will testify.”

Woloson was working at the Quadrangle Apartments when he allegedly raped and murdered 21-year-old Schumake in August 1981.

Schumake’s body was found in a wooded area between U.S. Hwy. 51 and the railroad tracks, near the SIU Physical Plant.

In 2001, police exhumed the body of John Paul Phillips, the man they believed committed the murder, and discovered Phillips’ DNA did not match the DNA left at the scene. Police then turned to other suspects, including Woloson.

Schumake’s brother, John Schumake, previously told the DAILY EGYPTIAN that cigarette butts collected from a car Woloson was trying to sell were used to analyze his DNA.

However, Carbondale Police Chief Steve Odum said that he “can’t say it that’s true or not,” but did say he was sure “evidence like that will be presented” at the preliminary hearing.


Woloson is being charged under 1981 murder statutes and if found guilty, Wepsiec said Wolson will face a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 40 years in prison.

Prosecutors could potentially ask for natural life or the death penalty, but Wepsiec said his office has not made a decision.