VALLEY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - A 37-year-old man was found dead from apparent gunshot wounds inside the Allegan County home he rented.
Autopsy results confirmed Jody Ray Snyder died of a gunshot wound, according to the Allegan County Sheriff's Office. The death has been ruled a homicide.
A family member called 911 after finding his body around 5:30 p.m. Saturday inside a residence in the 3000 block of 122nd Avenue in Valley Township.
Marion Conley, the homeowner, said investigators told him the victim was found dead in the living area.
Originally, the 79-year-old homeowner told 24 Hour News 8, authorities seemed to suspect him of the shooting.
"Last night at 12 o'clock when police came to the house," Conley told 24 Hour News 8 Sunday, "they beat on my door. Woke me up."
He said there were a dozen armed deputies surrounding his home.
"Beating down the door. I thought they were going to tear my door down," he recalled.
Conley was taken to the Sheriff's Department for questioning before he was released.
Snyder was supposed to move out of the rented house by Monday, Conley said.
Conley said Snyder had recently lost his job and he felt sorry for him. And though the rented house became gradually trashed and dented, and Conley noted sometimes Snyder acted peculiar, overall, he thought the victim was a nice guy going through a tough time.
"Yeah, it bothers me, sure. Sure, it bothers me," he said.
Conley said he wants to know what happened to his tenant.
"I'd like to know what went on because they accusing me of it. I'd like to know what's going on," he said.
Detectives would not elaborate on what makes the death suspicious or if someone was in custody.
Investigators were at the home until early Sunday morning.
"Right now we're basically gathering evidence, collecting evidence, processing that and preparing it for the crime lab so it'll help in making a determination as to exactly how the person did die," Capt. Frank Baker of the Allegan County Sheriff's Department told 24 Hour News 8 at the scene.
Snyder was arrested in 2012 on assault and battery charges after an incident with his 18-year-old son.
Snyder's ex-wife said Monday that despite the assault conviction, Snyder and their son were close. She, like police, would like to see a suspect arrested soon.
"I'm baffled. I am sad. We all knew Jody had financial problems and problems, you know, but that doesn't make up for someone to go out and shoot him," Lisa Ison said.
Snyder's former longtime girlfriend, Tammy Kiekover, told 24 Hour News 8 Monday that Snyder was a good guy who became like a father to her children.
"He's helped me raise my children," Kiekover said. "He's even offering to give my daughter his kidney. He was just an awesome man."
"We have been talking to friends, family and acquaintances, trying to identify a possible suspect; trying to put together a timeline with him at his residence there over the last few hours that led up to his death," said Capt. Baker Monday.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Allegan County Sheriff's Office at 269.673.0500 or Silent Observer at 1.855.745.3686.
24 Hour News 8's Leon Hendrix, Ryan Takeo and Steve Kelso contributed to this report.
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