Man’s death in Holland Township ‘suspicious’

Ottawa County

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities say they are investigating the death of a man in Holland Township as suspicious.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that an autopsy of the victim, 32-year-old Juan Castillo Villarreal, showed he died of suspicious head injuries.

He was found dead Saturday evening at home on 4th Avenue near Beech Street in Holland Township.

Victor Hyser is one of several people who live in that home. He told News 8 that Villarreal came home about 2 a.m. Saturday.

“He woke me up. He had blood all down the front of him. Somebody beat the (expletive) out of him,” Hyser recalled.

Villarreal apparently went to his room after that. Hyser said he found Villarreal dead several hours later.

Villarreal was released from the Ottawa County jail Friday morning, after serving part of a six-month sentence for assaulting and resisting a police officer.

An April 30, 2020, booking photo of Juan Villarreal courtesy the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

“The autopsy was clear that the injuries to Mr. Villarreal didn’t occur before he was released from jail. They’re relatively fresh. He had not been deceased very long prior to the 911 call,” said Ottawa County Sheriff’s Capt. Mark Bennett.

So what happened to Villarreal between the time he was released from jail and found dead? That’s the mystery investigators are trying to solve.

Bennett says the people who live in the 4th Avenue house are cooperating with investigators, but detectives are continuing interviews.

“There are several people we’d like to talk to. Trying to retrace his steps after being released from jail. Looking at security footage from area businesses. Those types of things,” Bennett said.

But they still don’t have a clear idea if Villarreal was the victim of an accident, or foul play.

“We’re working as though it’s a homicide, as it relates to breaking down the scene. Doing all of those things we typically do. But it is suspicious,” Bennett said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 616.738.4000 or Silent Observer at 877.887.4536.

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