2017-07-13 / Local News

Drowned man still not identified

The Michigan State Police are using facial recognition technology with autopsy photos in an effort to identify the man found floating in Lake Michigan on the Fourth of July, according to Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich.

So far, though, no clear leads have developed in efforts to name the man and find out why he was floating on Lake Michigan north of Leland. He was found by a fishing charter boat captain.

Police also have two partial fingerprints from the man, but were unable to get a database match, Borkovich said, likely due to the deteriorated condition of the man’s hands when he was found.

Borkovich said police plan to put together a composite sketch for publication in local media outlets in the hopes that somebody will recognize the man and come forward.

Borkovich said a dinghy with a motor was also found about nine miles south and southwest of the body. The dinghy had an empty cooler on board.

“We think it could be related, but we’re not sure,” Borkovich said.

The man was found floating facedown at 10 a.m. about 1 1/2-mile northwest of the Leland Harbor. The charter boat captain who happened upon the body contacted 9-1-1.

An autopsy done on July 5 in Kalamazoo identified the cause of death as drowning. It was also determined that the body was probably in the lake for anywhere from one to seven days.

It is not known whether the man had been drinking or using drugs as a toxicology report is not yet back.

The man is described as a white male 55-70 years of age. He was wearing black sweatsuit-type pants with two white stripes down the side of the legs, a black jacket with white stripes on the sleeve cuffs and white high-top tennis shoes.

He was also wearing a nylon jacket over his clothing. The jacket was filled with air, which likely kept him afloat, Borkovich said.

His tennis shoes were unlaced, something Borkovich describes as “very strange.”

“This is a real mystery,” Borkovich said. “How does a human being go missing and nobody knows him, nobody misses him?”

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office at 256-8800.

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