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Tag Archive | "Michigan State Police"

Crash takes life of Howard City woman


File photo.

A 24-year-old Howard City woman died Tuesday morning when the vehicle she was riding in ran into the back of a road commission tractor.

According to the Michigan State Police Rockford Post, the crash occurred at about 8:55 a.m. Tuesday morning August 25, on Marvin Road, west of Maple Island Rd, in Holton Township, Muskegon County.

Their preliminary investigation revealed that a SUV traveling west bound ran into the back of a Muskegon County Road Commission tractor/mower that was mowing the shoulder of the roadway. The 24-year-old female passenger of the SUV, from Howard City, was pronounced deceased on scene. The 26-year-old male driver, from Montague, was transported to the hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries.  The tractor operator was taken to the hospital by vehicle for non-life-threatening injuries. 

The crash remains under investigation and no names have been released yet pending notification of family members.

Troopers were assisted on scene by Holton Fire and Dalton Township Fire departments.

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Man takes own life before sentencing


Daniel Myslenski

By Judy Reed

A Coral man took his own life Thursday morning, July 30, the same morning he was due in court to be sentenced on charges related to the death of a man in a traffic crash in 2017.

Daniel Mark Myslenski, 31, was found dead following gunshots heard from inside a residence in Coral just before 8 a.m. on July 30. Two troopers from the Michigan State Police (MSP) Lakeview Post and a Montcalm Co. Sheriff’s deputy were called to a residence on Coral Rd. near Main St. at approximately 7:45 a.m. at the request of a concerned family member. The family member requested police assist with checking the well-being of Myslenski after he made concerning statements prior to a scheduled court appearance for later in the morning.

Myslenski, a 2007 graduate of Cedar Springs High School, was charged in the traffic crash that killed Guy Petherbridge, 61, also of Coral on July 4, 2017. The crash occurred on Kendaville Rd, west of Bailey Rd, in Maple Valley Township. Police investigation showed that Guy Petherbridge had stopped his vehicle on the road after striking a deer. The car he was driving was then struck by an eastbound Ford truck traveling at a high rate of speed, which was driven by Myslenski. The impact caused the car to split in half and catch fire. Petherbridge suffered fatal injuries from the crash. Myslenski suffered minor injuries. 

The Montcalm County Prosecutor’s office authorized a warrant for Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death and Reckless Driving Causing Death in January 2018. Myslenski eventually pleaded to attempted reckless driving causing death. His sentencing was delayed during the COVID-19 shutdown and scheduled for June 19. However, that was also delayed due to a suicide attempt by Myslenski and the new date of July 30 was scheduled.

When police arrived on scene, the family member allowed officers to enter a door in the garage area of the residence, and as officers began to enter the residence, two gunshots were heard from inside. The officers and family member retreated from the residence and to safety while summoning additional assistance as the man was believed to be armed. Officers did not return fire and were not injured. Additional MSP, Montcalm Co. Sheriff’s Dept., and EMS personnel arrived on scene to assist and secure the area, including MSP Emergency Support Team, Canine, and Bomb Squad personnel with specialized equipment.

Troopers were unable to establish communication with Myslenski following the two initial gunshots from inside the residence. Just after 11 a.m., a specialized MSP robot was deployed to enter the residence, at which time Myslenski was found deceased with self-inflicted gunshot wounds. There were no other injuries and no one else was inside the residence. After examining the scene following the incident, investigators do not believe Myslenski had fired at officers. The incident remains under investigation.

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Woman dies in three-vehicle crash


Cassie Burbank, 23, was killed Sunday, July 26th in a three-vehicle crash. Facebook photo.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police (MSP) Lakeview Post are investigating a three-vehicle traffic crash resulting in fatal injuries to a 23-year-old Sheridan woman. 

The crash occurred on Sunday, July 26, 2020 at approximately 12:06 p.m. on M-66 near Ruby Rd. in Montcalm County’s Sidney Township. A trooper traveling through the area drove up on the crash scene moments after it happened and immediately began to administer aid to the passengers of a minivan containing seven passengers, including five children.  

Preliminary investigation revealed that a 2003 Pontiac minivan traveling northbound on M-66 was stopped and waiting to turn left before it was struck from behind by a 2009 Chevrolet Impala, also traveling northbound on M-66. The Pontiac minivan was pushed into the southbound lane of M-66 following the initial collision, then was struck by a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck traveling south on M-66.

The female passenger in the Pontiac minivan, Cassondra Jean Cheyenne Burbank, 23, of Sheridan, suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash. Five children in the Pontiac minivan also suffered various injuries and were transported by both ambulance and Aero Med medical helicopter to Helen Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. The driver of the Pontiac minivan, a 23-year-old Sheridan man, suffered minor injuries and was treated on scene. 

The driver of the Silverado pickup, a 38-year-old Stanton man, along with his passengers, a 37-year-old Stanton man, and a 9-year-old male from Stanton, were treated for their injuries on scene. The female driver and only occupant of the Chevrolet Impala, a 20-year-old Perrinton woman, was not injured in the crash. The incident remains under investigation.

Troopers were assisted on scene by the Sheridan Community Fire Department, Montcalm County EMS, Aero Med, Bookwalter’s Towing and Recovery, MSP Aviation Unit, Montcalm County Victim’s Services and Montcalm County Central Dispatch.

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State police investigating fatal accident


Troopers from the Michigan State Police (MSP) Lakeview Post are investigating an accident resulting in fatal injuries to a 26-year-old male from Hubbardston, MI. The incident occurred at the Crystal Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 26, 2020 at approximately 4:51 a.m. in Montcalm County’s Crystal Township.  

Preliminary investigation revealed three occupants were riding in the open back of a SUV passenger vehicle in a public area of the Crystal Motor Speedway before being ejected from the vehicle as it accelerated. A 26-year-old Hubbardston man, identified as Alex Richards, died as a result of injuries sustained after falling from the vehicle. A 26-year-old Vestaburg man also suffered serious injuries and had to be transported to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing by Aero Med medical helicopter. The third occupant ejected, a 25-year-old Sheridan woman, was not injured. 

The driver of the vehicle, a 30-year-old Ionia man, was arrested following the incident for Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death and lodged at the Montcalm County Jail pending arraignment. A 30-year-old Ionia woman riding in the front passenger seat of the vehicle was not injured.  The incident remains under investigation.

Troopers were assisted on scene by the Crystal Twp. Fire Department, Montcalm County EMS, Aero Med and Montcalm County Central Dispatch.

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Funeral info for Tpr. Caleb Starr


Tpr. Caleb Starr

From the Michigan State Police

The Michigan State Police is grateful for the outpouring of support and many messages of condolences that we have received from the public safety community and general public. While the MSP desires nothing more than to lay Trooper Starr to rest with the traditional formality of a full public law enforcement funeral that honors both him and his family, in the interest of health and safety to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the visitation, memorial service and graveside service will be private events with limited attendance. 

For this reason, we are asking those who wish to pay their respects to the Starr family to do so virtually by leaving a message at https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/mason-mi/caleb-starr-9294020.

On Saturday, August 8, law enforcement agencies with marked patrol vehicles are invited to participate in a patrol vehicle tribute lining the funeral processional route. Officers participating in the patrol vehicle tribute shall report to the Ingham County Fairgrounds, 700 East Ash Street in Mason by 9 a.m. Officers are asked to remain in their vehicles, and a briefing via the public-address system will be held at 9:30 a.m., with staging for the tribute to begin at 10 a.m.  

Law enforcement agencies are also welcome to send a video message, in lieu of attendance, for compilation into a tribute video for Trooper Starr’s family. Interested law enforcement agencies should email MSP Public Affairs at MSPPublicAffairs@michigan.gov for further instructions.

Make a Donation to the Starr Family
Tax deductible donations to support the Starr family are being accepted by the Michigan State Troopers Assistance Fund (MSTAF), managed by the Michigan State Police Troopers Association. Donations can be mailed to MSPTA or made online at http://www.mspta.net/mstaf/donations/. Please indicate the donation is in support of the Starr family.

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Man drowns in boating accident at Crystal Lake


A Perrinton man drowned last week Thursday afternoon trying to save a woman who fell out of their boat.

According to the Michigan State Police Post in Lakeview, the incident happened at Crystal Lake, in Montcalm County’s Crystal Township, about 2:34 p.m. Thursday, June 4.

Police said that a 54-year-old woman had fallen from a fishing boat and into the water on Crystal Lake. The 59-year-old man operating the boat jumped into the water after the woman had fallen in. The woman, who was not injured, was pulled from the water and into a passing boat by citizens who arrived to help.

The man, Kelly Schaffer, 59, of Perrinton, in Gratiot County, was also pulled from the water and into the passing boat. Citizens began CPR on him before EMS arrival, but he was later pronounced deceased at the scene.

Life jackets were not worn by the fishing boat occupants.  The incident remains under investigation.

In addition to the citizens on scene, troopers were assisted by Crystal Twp. Fire Department, Montcalm County EMS, Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office and Montcalm County Central Dispatch.

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Sand Lake man killed in crash


Troopers from the Michigan State Police Rockford Post are investigating a fatal traffic crash that occurred on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, at 6:12 p.m. at the intersection of 17 Mile Road and Sparta Avenue in Tyrone Township, Michigan.  

Preliminary investigation showed that a 2003 Pontiac Vibe entered the intersection from northbound Sparta Avenue and failed to yield to a 2020 Chevrolet Traverse traveling west on 17 Mile Road causing a collision. The impact forced the two vehicles off the roadway striking a utility pole in the northwest corner of the intersection. 

An 18-year-old male inside the Pontiac Vibe was pronounced deceased on scene.  

A second passenger in the Pontiac Vibe was transported to Butterworth Hospital via Aero Med and in critical condition. A third passenger sustained serious injuries. The driver was transported to the Butterworth Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. All the occupants inside the Pontiac Vibe were from Sand Lake, Michigan. 

The Chevrolet Traverse that was traveling west on 17 Mile Road was also occupied by four occupants. All occupants were transported to Butterworth Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. They are all from Kent City, Michigan. 

The crash is under investigation. Alcohol does not appear to be a contributing factor.  

Michigan State Police Rockford Post personnel were assisted on scene by Kent City Fire Department, LIFE EMS Ambulance, Spectrum Health Aero Med, Sparta Township Fire Department, Rockford Ambulance, Michigan Department of Transportation, and Consumers Energy.

The names of the victims in the crash were not available at press time.

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Suspect charged in 36-year-old cold case homicide


Richard Atwood disappeared from White Cloud, Michigan nearly 37 years ago.

Nearly 37 years after 25-year-old Richard Atwood disappeared from White Cloud, Michigan in Newaygo County, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel along with Newaygo County Prosecutor Worth Stay have jointly charged Roy Leando Snell, 55, with his murder. Atwood’s body has never been found.

Snell, 55, was arrested in Minneapolis by the Minneapolis Violent Criminal Apprehension Unit. He is being charged in Newaygo County with one count of homicide felony murder, punishable by life without parole, and one count of weapons felony firearm, punishable by two years in prison to be served consecutively and preceding any term of imprisonment imposed. Snell was in custody in Hennepin County Jail in Minnesota and was extradited last weekend.

Atwood was last seen on Aug. 10, 1983; his brown 1975 Pontiac Trans-Am was recovered in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area two months later. Snell was reported as the last person to be seen with Atwood.

Roy Leando Snell

Snell and another man, Walter Sanders, were reportedly driving around with Atwood that day. While Atwood was out of the car, Sanders told police that Snell showed him a gun and said, “Let’s rob Ricky.” Sanders said Atwood dropped him off and that was the last time he saw Atwood. Snell was still in the car.

When police recovered Atwood’s car, they found blood and tissue belonging to him on the seat, center console, and in the trunk.

Snell later told another man he killed Richard Atwood, and he told a cell mate about killing a guy and putting him in the trunk, which is consistent with the blood/DNA evidence police found. 

“Working cold cases would be an impossible task without all hands on deck,” said Michigan State Police Detective First Lt. Mike Anderson. “I’m very proud of the persistent determination shown by the Detectives and Prosecutors over the last two years. The Michigan State Police are proud to once again partner with the Newaygo County Prosecutor, Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan Attorney General to seek justice for the family of Richard Atwood. The arrest of Roy Snell is a very gratifying first step.”

Newaygo County Sheriff Mendham concurred. “The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to help bring some relief to the Atwood family. The hard work and dedication of all officers and agencies involved throughout the years should be commended.”

“I would like to thank the Michigan State Police, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office and Prosecutor Stay for all their hard work on this,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “Cold cases are difficult cases to investigate, which makes good teamwork that much more important.”

MSP Detective F/Lt. Anderson thinks there are still people out there that might have information helpful to this case. “Sometimes an arrest and the passage of time gives witnesses with information about a crime the courage to come forward,” he said. “Although 36 years have passed, we feel there are still people in West Michigan who have information about this case that could benefit both the detectives and prosecutors; we would like to hear from them. Even though the information may seem insignificant, it can be the missing piece of the puzzle investigators are looking for.”

Information about the murder of Richard Atwood or any West Michigan cold case can be given in a variety of ways including:

  • Speaking with a detective in person or by phone at the Michigan State Police Hart Post at (231) 873-2171 or the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office at (231) 689-7303. 
  • A call to the Michigan State Police Cold Case Tip Line at (989) 775-9302. 
  • An anonymous tip can be left at Silent Observer of West Michigan by calling (616) 774-2345 or online at silentobserver.org http://www.silentobserver.org

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Child’s death ruled a homicide



Troopers from the Michigan State Police (MSP) Lakeview Post are investigating the death of a child in Montcalm County’s Douglass Township. 

Just after 5:30 a.m. on March 2, 2020, troopers responded to a residence on W. Stanton Rd. near N. Hillman Rd. and found an unresponsive child, just under the age of two. Lifesaving attempts by troopers and Montcalm EMS personnel were unsuccessful and the child was pronounced dead on scene.

The child was identified as Vayda Vasquez, who would have turned two next month.  Following an autopsy at a Spectrum Health Hospital in Grand Rapids on March 3, 2020, the child’s death has been ruled a homicide. The cause of death and additional details has not been released at this time because of the ongoing investigation.

Investigators are asking anyone with information regarding the death of this child to please contact Silent Observer by calling 616-774-2345, emailing info@silentobserver.com, or submitting a tip online at www.silentobserver.org. If anyone would like to speak to a detective, please call the MSP Lakeview Post at 989-352-8444.

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Cedar Springs woman dies in crash



A Cedar Springs woman died last weekend when her car rolled on US-131 in the early hours of the morning.

According to the Michigan State Police, the crash occurred on Saturday, February 15, at 3:59 a.m. on northbound US-131 north of 6 Mile Rd, in Plainfield Township. The preliminary investigation showed that only one vehicle was involved.

A Chevrolet Cruze had been reported as driving recklessly shortly before the crash, then ran off the roadway and rolled multiple times. The only person in the vehicle was the driver, identified as Monique Gabrielle Wilks, 22, of Cedar Springs. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

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