WYANDOTTE (WWJ) – A mystery is unfolding in Wyandotte where a man’s body was found in a car submerged in the Detroit River — and it may have been there for nine years.

Wyandotte Police James Inspector James Pouliot said a recreational diver spotted the body Thursday in the sunken car near Waterfront Park and the Wyandotte Boat Club at Pine and Jefferson Avenue.

“We called the dive team in; recovered the vehicle out of the water. There was a body in the backseat of the vehicle,” he said.

Pouliot said the body was badly decomposed, leading them to believe it has been in the water for years.

“It looks like a larger male, as far as height, clothing intact but there is no head, they’re missing the hands and the feet were off also, but they were in the shoes,” Pouliot said.

Police said the body size fits the description of Tom Lange, who was 30 years old when he went missing in late December of 2003.  Police said clothing on the body also appears to be similar to what Lange wearing when, according to a friend, he disappeared from a bar in Allen Park.

Lange’s I.D., some additional bone sections, and a skull were later found by a search and recovery team in the river nearby.

Police said the vehicle in which the body was found — a 1999 Mercury Sable — belonged to Lange.

The remains were turned over to the Wayne County Medical Examiner. An autopsy will be conducted to determine a cause of death and to confirm the man’s identity.

An investigation by Wyandotte and Lincoln Park police is ongoing.

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