WYANDOTTE (WWJ) - Dental records have confirmed that a body found in a submerged car in the Detroit River is that of a man who went missing more than nine years ago.
Tom Lange was 30 years old when he was reported missing on New Year’s Eve in 2003 — one day after he disappeared from a Downriver bar.
Wyondotte police said dental records were enough to confirm Lange’s identity, so DNA testing would not be necessary.
Lange’s body, found in the back seat of the car in the river on Friday, was missing the head, hands and feet. A police dive team later located a skull and some other bones nearby — along with Lange’s I.D.
Police said the vehicle in which the body was found — a 1999 Mercury Sable — belonged to Lange.
A cause of death has not been established, and authorities are still investigating whether Lange’s body was deliberately dismembered.
Police told WWJ the Wayne County Medical center will conduct further testing this week on the bone structure near the cervical spine area and wrists to see if the bones were intentionally severed or if they became dislodged as a result of the severe decomposition under water over time.
Lange’s family held a vigil for him in Lincoln Park Friday night.