Grand Rapids police search for body of murder victim

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police say they have information that a man was murdered earlier this month, but they are still looking for his body.

While the Grand Rapids Police Department didn’t release the victim’s name in a Monday release, it identified him as a Black man in his 60s. A suspect, a Black man in his 20s whose name also hasn’t been released, has been arrested.

The victim’s remains are believed to have been dumped early Aug. 20 in a ditch or tall grass somewhere along Alpine Avenue/M-37, possibly as far north as Sparta. The suspect was driving a 2002 black Oldsmobile Bravada, which belonged to the victim, police say.

The Bravada was later found burned and abandoned in Eaton County, GRPD says.

Investigators say that while the suspect was stopped along M-37, a passerby stopped to ask if he was having car trouble and whether he needed any help. He said no and she left. Police would like to talk to that passerby, described only as a white woman in a white Toyota Prius or similar vehicle.

“This woman specifically (would help) if she would come forward and let us know what she saw, what she heard and the whereabouts of where this contact was. We’re dealing with a huge space here. We’ve utilized drones, helicopters, officers have been out on foot every day and we’ve been unable to locate this gentleman,” GRPD Sgt. John Wittkowski said.

Wittkowski says the suspect has been forthcoming. However, the suspect has not been able to provide an exact location.

“That’s why we’re relying on the community to come forward,” Wittkowski said. “The suspect is a Black male and the only reason we’re putting that out is this woman made contact with this individual, so we want to create that causal connection.” 

Anyone with information about the homicide or witness is asked to call GRPD at 616.456.3380 or directly to Detective Gizzi at 616.456.4483 or Detective Kadzban at 616.456.4151. You can also contact Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

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