Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 28, 2014

UPDATE: Police look to ID body found in water

TRAVERSE CITY — City police await an autopsy before they can confirm the identity of a man’s body pulled from icy waters at the marina in Clinch Park.

A West Branch woman walking through the park today spotted what she thought were a pair of tennis shoes underneath a wooden raft floating near a pier, said Traverse City Police Capt. Mike Ayling.

“Upon closer inspection of the raft she observed a body trapped underneath,” he said.

The woman contacted authorities at about 12 p.m. City police and fire gathered on the pier as Grand Traverse County dive team members jumped into the wind-whipped waters and pulled the body from under the raft.

Ayling said the mostly-unclothed body showed no obvious signs of injury or trauma. He said it belongs to a middle-aged man with long dark hair and a light to medium complexion.

He said investigators have an inkling about the body’s identity, but need to compare dental records, scars and tattoos.

“We’re hoping after the autopsy (Tuesday) that we would know for sure,” Ayling said. “We have not notified (all) the relatives yet,” he added.

Investigators are combing through known missing persons reports to compare with the time they believe the body floated in the water.

“It’s my estimate at this point that its been a couple of months,” Ayling said.

It’s unknown whether the body floated with the raft or if the two simply came together in the marina. Ayling said investigators searched for clothing near the Boardman River’s outlet and they’ll expand their search further west.

“If anybody were to get pants, jacket or a sweatshirt that seemed unusual in the area of the bay, call us,” he said.

Members of the public with information can call 231-947-TIPS (8477).

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