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Huntington Woods, Royal Oak

Body found in Royal Oak believed to be missing Huntington Woods man

August 1, 2014

Police discovered a body July 31 in the Oakview Cemetery in Royal Oak that they believe is that of a 59-year-old Huntington Woods man who was reported missing earlier in the week.

Huntington Woods Public Safety Lt. Ben Zawacki said Daniel Busto, 59, of Huntington Woods, was reported missing by his wife the afternoon of July 28. Busto had last been seen around 7 a.m. at home.

“He was reported missing by his wife; when she came home, he was gone,” Zawacki said. “We can’t get into a lot of specific detail, but there was information there that led her and us to believe he had voluntarily gone missing.”

Zawacki said the police conducted an on-scene investigation at his home and obtained information about friends and places he frequented to help in the search. Busto had left his cellphone at home and did not use any credit cards or withdraw money, Zawacki said, making the search more difficult.

On July 30, Busto’s car was found parked near Oakview Cemetery, 1032 N. Main St., and police conducted an on-foot search of the location.

“When his car was located in Royal Oak there was some thought he may have gone into the cemetery, as his car was locked and there was no damage,” Zawacki said. “On Wednesday, we searched the cemetery on foot and a K-9 unit from Southfield helped search. The woods were so thick in a lot of areas that it was not easily accessible, so we made the decision to do an air search.”

On July 31, Zawacki went up with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office aviation air unit to conduct the overhead search and located the body in the woods around 1 p.m.

“We located in the wooded area what appeared to be a lifeless body,” he said. “We landed on the ground and were able to make our way back into the woods and located a deceased male subject.”

Because the body was found in Royal Oak, the Royal Oak Police Department took over the investigation of the crime scene.

Zawacki said that the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office should have a positive identification within a few days, but the belief is it is Busto.

“The cause of death and manner of death and identification have not been determined yet,” he said. “Since the body was found in Royal Oak, they are handling the death investigation, where we were handling the missing person end, which we believed we solved.”

About the author

Josh Gordon covers Berkley, Ferndale, Huntington Woods and Pleasant Ridge along with the Berkely Schools and Ferndale Schools districts for the Woodward Talk. Josh has worked for C & G Newspapers since 2013 and attended Central Michigan University. Josh won a Society of Professional Journalism award in 2015 and is an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers. During his free time, Josh likes to read, try new foods and snowboard.

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