Traverse City Record-Eagle

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August 26, 2013

UPDATE: Wanted man, 3 kids found safe at Mich. lakeshore

GLEN HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — A man wanted on a domestic violence charge and his three young children were found safe Monday night at northern Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore after a search involving ground crews and a U.S. 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 massive 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.

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