Wanted man, 3 kids found safe on Mich. lakeshore
GLEN HAVEN, Mich. — A man wanted on a domestic violence charge and his three young children were found safe on Monday night at northern Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore after a search involving ground crews and a Coast Guard helicopter.
“The kids are all OK. The man is OK,” said Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich. They were found about 7:50 p.m. on a hillside a rugged mile from where the man's car was found abandoned about 13 hours earlier.
The 50-year-old man from the Detroit suburb of Orchard Lake was placed under arrest on the domestic violence charge and was being questioned. He will be jailed overnight and arraigned Tuesday in Emmet County, where the charge originated, Borkovich said.
It appears that the man and his children arrived the previous day and spent Sunday night in the woods without food, water or shelter, Borkovich said. He said they were “physically exhausted,” and very hungry and thirsty. The children are the man's 14- and 10-year-old daughters and his 9-year-old son.
The motive for the man's actions was unclear, and authorities said they hoped interviews with him and the children would make it clearer.
“It seemed to be a spur-of-the-moment thing,” said Phil Akers, chief ranger at the national lakeshore.
Borkovich characterized it as “a rogue camping event.” He said the man's name would be withheld until he appeared in court.
The man was the subject of a search after an empty car he'd been driving was discovered near a museum at the lakeshore.
He was visiting family members in Emmet County when he got into a conflict with his wife Sunday. She filed a complaint against him, and the Emmet County Sheriff's Department issued a misdemeanor domestic violence warrant for him, Borkovich said.
“It's not like it's a military guy and a survival expert. It's a dad with kids,” Borkovich said before the four were found safe. “We don't see any signs of struggle, any signs of violence. We don't have any threats of him doing any harm to himself, to the kids or his spouse. We don't have any signs whatsoever to indicate violence. What we have is either lost people or people hiding.”
About 7 a.m. Monday, a lakeshore park ranger spotted a car with a dented door parked on a road near the Coast Guard Maritime Heritage Museum. Borkovich said the ranger ran the license plate and learned there was an alert for the vehicle.
There was something about the car itself that caused authorities to be concerned, but Borkovich declined to be specific.
Borkovich said searchers walked the shoreline and were going through wetlands and inland ridges. State police and Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Department K-9 units and Michigan Department of Natural Resources crews also were aiding the search. Borkovich said volunteer firefighters and other emergency personnel were joining the search later Monday and planned to carry out a systematic search by grids of a large section of the park. He described the terrain as swampy and thick with trees and undergrowth.
Parts of the lakeshore, including the popular Dune Climb, were closed to the public while the search continued.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- CIA admits Senate was spied on
- FDA will regulate labs’ ‘high-risk’ test devices
- House GOP balks on young immigrants bill
- Congress considers dangers of driving high
- CEO shot, wounded in Chicago, apparently by demoted executive
- Credit-card-stealing virus ‘Backoff’ virtually undetectable, Homeland Security warns
- Museum sleepover for adults sells out
- Stoned volunteers test drug, alcohol effect on driving
- Law enforcement, intelligence agencies want to ‘like’ you on social media
- Annapolis Marine capain could be 1st to perform as part of Blue Angels team
- Data on impact of Colo. gun law, background checks questioned