Byron Center pastor’s 2018 death ruled a suicide

Kent County
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The death of a pastor whose body was found alongside a Byron Township road last year has been ruled a suicide, authorities say.

After scrutinizing the timeline surrounding the death of Dale Cross Sr., 66, investigators decided no one else could have been involved, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday. Authorities say physical evidence and witness statements also support the ruling.

In August 2018, Cross’ body was found next to his SUV along 68th Street between Burlingame and Clyde Park avenues. He died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Authorities originally said the death was a suicide, then backed off that description, in part because of the unlikely path of the bullet. Cross’ family also didn’t believe he would have taken his own life.

A second medical examiner has looked at the case at the family’s request and agreed it was a suicide, the sheriff’s office said.

Cross, who was retired, was formerly the pastor at Abundant Life Church in Byron Center.

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