Motorists, police discover body in woods

By: Brad D. Bates | Shelby - Utica News | Published December 10, 2012

Passing motorists and police discovered the body of what Shelby Township Police Chief Roland Woelkers called the victim of an “apparent suicide” Dec. 7.

The body was found hanging in a wooded area near 23 Mile Road and the M-53 expressway after motorists reported the situation to police, who verified the remains as a man who had at one time lived in Shelby Township, though not currently.

“Preliminary indication is it’s an apparent suicide,” Woelkers said. “We have not tracked down all the family, so we’re not releasing the name.”

Woelkers said the body appeared to have gone undiscovered since June, and there was no missing persons report for the individual.

“It looks like, with some of the leaves coming down in that area, that people could see into the woods a little bit better,” Woelkers said of what contributed to the discovery.

“The autopsy is today, and the detective bureau is still working on things,” Woelkers added Dec. 10. “He appears to be in his mid-30s. We’re 95-percent sure it was a suicide, but until the autopsy, you never know for sure.”

Woelkers said the victim’s last known residence was outside of Shelby Township, and police are investigating all possible connections between the man and Shelby Township.

“His last residence was not Shelby, but he has family in the area,” Woelkers said. “We’re not quite sure what his connection to that area would be.”