ARMADA (WWJ) – Authorities in northern Macomb County are trying to determine if a female’s body found overnight is linked to a missing persons case in the area.
According to police, the body of a white female was discovered along the Macomb Orchard Trail around 8:25 p.m. Thursday in a wooded area near Fulton and Depot roads, north of 33 Mile Road in Armada.
“Two joggers were going around the trail and a dog actually alerted that there was something amiss in the wood line,” State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said. “When they went to investigate what it was, that’s when they found the body.”
Investigators are still trying to identify the woman, whose physical description is reportedly similar to two women recently reported missing — one from Washington Township; another from Armada.
“We don’t even have a guess as to her age because it’s so hard and plus, they got this call around 8:30 at night so the detectives and everybody out here has been dealing with this in the dark,” Shaw said. “This is our first opportunity to actually get some light on the scene and collect some evidence.”
Police are awaiting autopsy results to determine a cause of death. Investigators said there were no obvious signs of sexual assault or trauma to the woman’s body, which was fully clothed.
“We are treating this as a homicide until we prove otherwise,” Shaw said.
Additional details are expected to be released later Friday.
The Macomb Orchard trail is a paved hike and bike trail that runs 24 miles from Shelby Township to Richmond.
Armada resident Bob Zarate said he walks his Black Labrador, Cody, down the trail every morning and passes by where the body was found. Zarate told WWJ’s Mike Campbell that nothing caught his eye — or Cody’s keen nose — on their walk Thursday.
“You see strangers out here sometimes and I kind of keep my eye on them, you know, if I see anything suspicious I’ll notify the police, but I haven’t seen anything lately — nothing,” he said.
Police are currently looking for a long gray box van that was seen in the area of the crime scene. This is described as a painters’ type van” with dents all over it. Police said the van was occupied by two white males. It has not been the determined the role of the van in the investigation.
Anyone who was in a van like the one described or who knows someone who has that type of van is asked to call 877-616-4677. Tips may also be submitted online at www.michigan.gov/michtip.