Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
Donald Dietz was last seen on September 8, as he wrote a check at Meijers in Ionia and was seen by a former co-worker. Since then, there has been no sign of him. Nothing appeared to be missing from his home, except some financial papers. Dietz is known around Saranac as the 'Bicycle Man" because he often rides his bicycle around the area, to Ionia and to Lowell. He is retired from Amway.
On September 20, nearly two weeks after Dietz went missing, the Lake Michigan Credit Union received a phone call from someone claiming to be Don Dietz. The man asked why the credit union hadn't given him the money he requested via mail. The credit union withheld the withdrawal because the signature didn't match Dietz's handwriting. The letter asked the credit union to transfer more than $400,000 into a bank account headquartered in Lebanon.
Authorities also learned during the investigation that Dietz was "fearful for his life" because an aggressive individual was pressuring Dietz to advance him funds for an investment scheme.
Rami Saba was charged with mail and bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, when it was discovered that he tried to withdrawl $400,000 from Mr. Dietz's bank account, the same month he went missing. After Saba attempted to withdrawl the money, Donalds brother got a call from a man with a heavy accent claiming to be Donald. The man said he got a girl pregnant and needed to go away with her, and wanted help wiring money. In a search of Mr. Dietzs' trailer, references to Saba were found. Saba had checks from Dietz deposited into his own account two weeks after the Ionia County man's disappearance.
Rami Saba was found guilty in 2011 with a count of kidnapping resulting in death being dropped. He was sentenced to roughly 32 years in prison. Prosecutors say Saba and another man kidnapped and murdered Dietz to steal his money back in 2007. Prosecutors in the trial painstakingly laid out the phone records and financial evidence they said linked Saba and accomplice Raogo Ouedraogo to a conspiracy to kidnap Dietz. Prosecutors say that conspiracy resulted in the death of Dietz and the theft of half a million dollars from his bank account. Although Dietz's body has never been found and there was no physical evidence linking Saba to a crime scene, prosecutors were sure he was involved. Raogo Ouedraogo was acquitted by a federal judge for his role in the alleged conspiracy to kidnap and steal Dietz's roughly $450,000 in life savings, and Dietz's presumed death.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Michigan State Police