2017-08-10 / Front Page

Drowned man here illegally from U.K.

By Patti Brandt Burgess
Of The Enterprise staff

SHERIFF MIKE Borkovich kneels by the dinghy that a drowned man found in Lake Michigan more than a month ago purchased off Amazon.com to assist in his suicide by drowning. SHERIFF MIKE Borkovich kneels by the dinghy that a drowned man found in Lake Michigan more than a month ago purchased off Amazon.com to assist in his suicide by drowning. A man found floating off the Leland Harbor more than a month ago has been identified as an illegal alien from the United Kingdom.

Marcus Brandon Adams, 67, was found on July 4 but was finally identified on Tuesday when a detective from the Washington, D.C. police department recognized a composite photograph of the victim as a missing persona.

Adams, whose death was an apparent suicide, has a last known address in the Washington, D.C., area, according to Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich.

Adams had apparently sent several letters to friends and relatives in the New York and D.C. area stating that he was contemplating suicide by drowning. He checked into a resort in the Ludington area and purchased a 10-foot Bris rubber dinghy from Amazon.com, Borkovich said.

He then headed for Lake Michigan. His body was found about a mile and 1/2 from the Leland Harbor. The dinghy was found about 8 nautical miles away, but police were not sure if the boat was connected to the body.

“We thought they were connected, but didn’t know for sure until yesterday (Tuesday) and we started putting things together,” Borkovich said.

Adams was born in Italy and moved to the United Kingdom, where he was a citizen, Borkovich has learned.

He came to the United States on a green card in 1986 and tried to get permanent citizenship, but was denied, Borkovich said. He has been living here illegally since then, he said.

Borkovich said the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) that uses digital imaging technology to analyze Adams fingerprints.

Police also used blood samples, dental records, and DNA to attempt to identify the unknown body.

They scoured local, state and federal missing persons lists, homeless shelters, checked with the U.S. Coast Guard, Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to try and identity the man.

In the end it was dental records that finally provided the final identification.

“After comparing details and forensic evidence ... we were able to match dental records and later confirmed that the individual found in the water was Mr. Adams,” Borkovich said.

It turns out Adams was a man who did not want to be photographed or have any ID, Borkovich said.

“He was a self-described recluse,” he said.

Adams was a white male with hazel eyes, 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed 200 pounds. He gave his occupation as self-employed; both his parents are deceased.

“I’m very proud of our marine deputies, our command staff and of our detective, who have all worked diligently to identify this individual,” Borkovich said. “I’m also appreciate the help of the Michigan State Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, Homeland Security and the Washington, D.C. police. I’m glad we can finally bring closure to his family, as well as for his own dignity.”

Borkovich said he has made an attempt to contact the man’s known friends and relatives to let them know of their loss.

Adams has been held by the medical examiner, Dr. Joyce DeJong, in a morgue facility until he could be identified and until arrangements can be made.

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