Police chief says bones likely belong to missing Rochester man

Police hope to have identification by end of week

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published March 8, 2016

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We’re very confident this is a non-foul-play incident."

Robert Shelide, Shelby Township police chief

On the afternoon of Saturday, March 5, police responded to a wooded area in the 2000 block of Barberry Court, near 25 Mile and Dequindre roads, after a man walking near the creek found what appeared to be a human bone.

Detective Lt. Jason Schmittler, of the Shelby Township Police Department, said police recovered a skull and some other bones and sent them to the Macomb County Medical Examiner’s office.

In a March 7 interview, Schmittler said police were hoping to have identification of a person from the medical examiner in the next couple of days.

“(The bones) appear to be human. Obviously, I can’t identify it,” Schmittler said. “It was in the woods next to the creek, back behind the construction area.”

He said the bones were not apparent from a distance — one had to be up close to see them — and that they were partially buried in the snow.

Shelby Township Police Chief Robert Shelide said he was fairly certain the bones belong to a Rochester man in his 40s who went missing three years ago. He said the man was last seen riding a green bicycle, and police recovered a green bicycle near the bones.

“There is nothing for our residents to be alarmed about,” Shelide said. “We’re very confident this is a non-foul-play incident.”

Shelide said the missing Rochester man had mental health issues, and police found pill bottles beside the bones.

“We had a new resident looking around for deer antlers who stumbled upon the remains,” he said. “Obviously, we have to investigate further, but we’re pretty confident this is an isolated thing and no foul play is involved. We’re just waiting for the final word from the Medical Examiner’s Office.”