OMENA — Authorities discovered the body of a Northport man who disappeared in Grand Traverse Bay.
A local resident about 10 a.m. Sunday found Terry Eugene Warren, 57, not far from shore in Ingalls Bay. Emergency responders recovered his body from the shore of Lake Michigan where it was found in about 5 feet of water, a spot not accessible by boat.
“He was a hard worker and a good friend to everyone here,” said Sarah Jones, front of house manager at Knot Just a Bar, where Warren, a prep cook, worked off and on for about 10 years.
“We’re happy he was found and can have a proper burial,” she said.
Michigan State Police Lt. Ryan Tanaczka, assistant commander for the Cadillac post, said it’s surprising Warren’s body was found near where his boat was discovered Wednesday along the shoreline in Ingalls Bay, not far from Omena Point.
“I know that searchers checked that area,” Tanaczka said.
The search was conducted by MSP troopers with help from the U.S. Coast Guard, Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and Leelanau Township Fire Department.
An autopsy is scheduled this week in Kalamazoo.
Jones said Knot Just a Bar closed early Wednesday, as local residents flocked to the shoreline and waters to look for Warren.
Troopers and sheriff’s deputies also knocked on doors along the Ingalls Bay coast.
But emergency responders called off the near-24 hour search for the missing man Thursday after extensively covering Grand Traverse Bay’s northwestern waters and coming up empty. The search had begun a mere hour after the last sighting of Warren leaving Northport’s G. Marsten Dame Marina.
Then came calls for community help on social media, which officials said were clearly answered in force.
Tanaczka said authorities had been receiving a lot of update calls from searchers, plus there was a noticeable increase in boat traffic across the region from Northport to Ingalls Bay.
“I’m told the Northport community is a tight-knit group,” he said.
Dan Tompkins, owner of Sunrise Landing Motel on the water, said the offshore waters along that stretch of Grand Traverse Bay had been filled with boats since Warren’s disappearance.
“They were clearly searching, going back and forth,” he said.
And he said the number of beach-walkers combing the shores got a boost, too.
“There were so many people who came out from the community,” Tompkins said.
Warren had left the marina in his older, green Aero-Craft boat Wednesday during rough conditions, when waves neared 4 to 6 feet, Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich previously said.
The working theory was Warren had been thrown into the waves in the rough weather.
Witnesses reported Warren initially prepared to go out and help someone with a jet ski, but opted to make the trip anyway after that request was called off.
Jones said Warren was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a local tribal member.