SAUGATUCK, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities are asking for the community’s help in tracking down a Grand Rapids man last seen at a Saugatuck bar.
“Every minute that goes by, it gets more and more difficult for us,” Allegan County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Scott Matice said of the search for Justin Michael Brown.
Brown, 39, was out drinking with friends before he was last seen around 1:15 a.m. Saturday. After several calls and texts went unanswered Saturday morning, they searched the area extensively, but couldn’t find him.
“It was reported to us around 7 p.m., so we were already behind a little bit,” Matice said. “If it’s not a regular pattern that someone is missing, I would always call law enforcement. The quicker we begin, the quicker the investigation and hopefully we can locate the person.”
Investigators say Brown’s cellphone has been inactive since he vanished. Pings of cellphone towers showed its last known location was within an about three-mile radius in the Saugatuck area.
Surveillance cameras put Brown near the Coral Gables resort, which is near where Kalamazoo Lake flows into the Kalamazoo River, around the time his friends say they last saw him. Crews searched the water Monday.
“We’re using every tool that we have available,” Matice said.
Foul play is not suspected.
Family and friends say Brown, a U.S. Navy veteran, does not have any known mental health or medical problems and that he wouldn’t just leave.
“That’s very atypical. It’s completely out of character for Justin to go off the grid like that,” Glenn Fredericks, who has been Brown’s friend for some 20 years, said.
He posted missing person flyers around Saugatuck Monday.
“I fear that it may already be too late but we’ve got to keep trying,” Fredericks said. “He’s a great person and we got to find him.”
Brown was last seen wearing a gray Columbia jacket, a dark colored baseball hat and blue jeans. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to call the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office at 269.673.0500 or Silent Observer at 1.800.554.3633.
—24 Hour News 8’s Marvis Herring contributed to this report.