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Farmington Hills

May 1, 2013

Two men disappear, one found dead in truck

Police urge residents to call immediately if someone goes missing

By Chris Jackett
C & G Staff Writer

FARMINGTON HILLS — A pair of residents disappeared from their homes in April, but only one was safely recovered.

A 62-year-old man was driving his blue 2005 Mercury Mountaineer April 5 when he went missing in the area of 10 Mile and Middlebelt. He was on medication, and there were questions about his mental state, police said. He was safely recovered April 8 near 10 Mile and Orchard Lake roads, less than one mile from his house.

When a 72-year-old man disappeared from his house at about noon April 13, his recovery did not have such a happy ending. The man was found deceased in his 2003 GMC Sierra pickup truck parked on Hathaway, near Grand River, at about 12:45 a.m. April 15. He lived near 10 Mile, between Middlebelt and Inkster, police said.

“He was in a parking lot on Hathaway Street,” Cmdr. Matt Koehn said. “We’re not sure where he was between the times.”

The second missing man was also on medication, police said. They said there were no signs of foul play at the scene, and the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a suicide by medication overdose.

Koehn said people going missing is a regular occurrence, but it’s often a false alarm. For example, he said a 6-year-old went missing last week but was found elsewhere within the house after police were called. He said it is better to be safe than sorry.

“Give us a call right away,” Koehn said. “We take reports immediately. I can’t tell you how many times over the years a missing person turns into a homicide or suicide investigation. It’s a lot better to put resources into it early than trying to play catch-up.

“Dealing with people with mental issues and Alzheimer’s is tough.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Chris Jackett at cjackett@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1110.