Parma Police Announce Criminal Charges in Katarina Bitterman Missing Person Case
PARMA, OH—After an investigation by Parma Police and FBI agents in Cleveland and Boston, Parma Police have charged two people in connection with the events surrounding the disappearance and eventual discovery of 17-year-old Katarina Bitterman at a home in Salem, Massachusetts.
Michael H. Julien, age 19, and his mother Renee M. Hanson, age 43, both of Salem, Massachusetts, were indicted today by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury on charges of Inducing Panic, Interference with Custody, and Obstructing Justice, all felonies of the fifth degree.
Bitterman was reported missing back on March 4th. She was found approximately one week later on March 10th at the home of Michael H. Julien and Rene M. Hanson after an investigation by Parma Police detectives and FBI agents from the Cleveland Field Office determined that Bitterman was staying at their residence. FBI agents in Boston and Salem Police were notified and later found Bitterman alive and unharmed inside Hanson’s residence. Bitterman was taken into custody by Salem Police and held until her parents brought her back to Parma.
Parma Police detectives, along with Cleveland and Boston FBI agents, continued to investigate this case after Bitterman was found in Salem. The investigation yielded evidence that Michael H. Julien and Renee M. Hanson plotted together to bring Bitterman back to Salem in order to live with them. The investigation also showed that Renee M. Hanson traveled alone to Parma on March 4th and picked up Bitterman a short distance from her home after her parents were gone. Renee M. Hanson then drove Bitterman back to her home in Salem.
In addition to the charges against Michael H. Julien and Renee M. Hanson, Katarina Bitterman will also be charged with one count of Inducing Panic in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court.
Michael H. Julien is currently being held in the Essex County (Massachusetts) House of Corrections. Renee M. Hanson is not in custody at this time.
The Parma Police Department would like to thank the Cleveland and Boston Offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Salem Police Department for their assistance in this investigation.
We would also like to thank the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office for their quick response in assisting our department in filing criminal charges in this case. Any additional inquiries into this case, including the extradition of both parties back to Ohio, should be directed to their office.