Police investigating body found in portable toilet

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published April 22, 2014

Police are looking for anyone who can shed light into the mystery of a man found in a portable toilet at the Nine Mile Boat Ramp April 19.

St. Clair Shores Police Detective Margaret Eidt said officers were called to the ramp by the gatekeeper, who was back on duty that day for the first time this season. The ramp had closed for the winter after the last week in October.

“Upon our arrival, we discovered that there was a white male found laying on the floor of the Porta-John, that he appeared to be homeless,” Eidt said. “He was surrounded with garbage bags full of garbage.”

She said when the gatekeeper arrived at work that day, he noticed garbage spilling out from underneath the door of the portable toilet and tried to open the door. It was locked, but he was able to force it open, and that’s when he found the body.

“At this time, he has still not been identified and at this point we are just assuming that he most likely died from hypothermia during the winter months,” Eidt said April 22.

Eidt said the man is a white male between 45 and 65 years of age, about 5-foot 11-inches tall and between 100 and 120 pounds. He had a white beard and mustache and dark brown hair with some gray in it. He was wearing a green plaid shirt and gray undershirt covered by a black vinyl jacket and a heavy hooded jacket, along with blue jeans and brown lace-up boots and a hat with ear flaps.

Police looked through the bags with the man and discovered some receipts, the latest of which was dated Dec. 16, 2013, so they believe he died sometime after that date.

The Macomb County Medical Examiner’s office performed an autopsy April 22 but the results won’t be available for four to six weeks, Eidt said.

“There doesn’t appear to be any foul play at this time,” she said. “Anybody who has any information of any loved ones or a person that has been missing for awhile is definitely urged to give us a call.”

She said they have also submitted the man’s fingerprints to the State Police Crime Lab for possible identification.

“He was badly decomposed as being in the porta-john. We’re assuming he was in there for a minimum of three-and-a-half months,” she said.

St. Clair Shores Police have spoken with police in Port Huron and Oakland County as to missing persons in their jurisdiction with a possible connection, but “neither one of those panned out,” she said.

The boat launch area is still open and Eidt said the portable toilet where the body was found would most likely be removed April 22.

Anyone with information is asked to call St. Clair Shores Police at (586) 445-5305.