Police confirm bones are missing Rochester man

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published March 10, 2016

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On March 9, Shelby Township police confirmed that the Macomb County Medical Examiner’s office had positively identified the bones found near 25 Mile and Dequindre roads as belonging to a missing Rochester man.

George Vanderweit, 70, of Rochester, was reported missing July 5, 2013. A thorough, several-day search involving multiple law enforcement and governmental agencies, K-9 and air units, and a large number of volunteers was unable to locate him.

On the afternoon of Saturday, March 5, police responded to a wooded area in the 2000 block of Barberry Court after a man walking his dog 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.

“It was in the woods next to the creek, back behind the construction area,” Schmittler said.

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 Vanderweit was last seen riding a green bicycle, and police recovered a green bicycle near the bones.

Shelide said Vanderweit 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,” Shelide said.

According to a press release, the Rochester and Shelby Township police departments and the Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office worked together to bring closure to the family.

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