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How Man Found In Detroit River Died Remains A Mystery

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Tom Lange as seen on a missing persons poster in 2003. (Courtesy Wyandotte Police)

Tom Lange as seen on a missing persons poster in 2003. (Courtesy Wyandotte Police)

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WYANDOTTE (WWJ) – The cause of death of a Lincoln Park man — whose body was found last week in the Detroit River, cannot be determined.

Wyandotte Police Chief Dan Grant says that’s the conclusion of an expert in human skeletal structure.

A car with a body inside is pulled from the Detroit River (credit: Stephanie Davis/WWJ)

A car with a body inside is pulled from the Detroit River (credit: Stephanie Davis/WWJ)

“The head, the hands and the feet were severed from their regular parts of the body and they did a close examination of the bones and could not make any determination as to whether or not that was through natural decomposition of the body being under the water for over nine-and-a-half years,” Grant said. “And they could not make any determination that the body had been involved in any foul play.”

Dental records determined the identity of Tom Lange, whose body found by a recreational diver in the back seat of his car, submerged in the river in Wyandotte on Aug. 16.

A police dive team located a skull and some other bones nearby — along with Lange’s I.D.

Grant says, although the case remains open, there’s nothing they can do unless they get some new information from witnesses.

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.

Lange’s mother told police her son had been having issues with alcohol and was despondent at the time of his disappearance.

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