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Tag Archive | "Michigan State Police"

Bodies discovered after fires


Two suspicious fires and two bodies discovered in the ruins have led police to treat the investigation as a homicide. Courtesy photo from the Michigan State Police.

The Michigan State Police is investigating the possible homicide deaths of two people whose bodies were found after suspicious fires were extinguished southeast of Greenville last week.

At approximately 7:53 a.m. Thursday, March 18, Ronald Township Fire was dispatched to a structure fire in the 4200 block of West Fenwick Road, Fairplain Township, Montcalm County. Upon arrival, two homes on the property were on fire, one being fully engulfed. Sheridan Area Fire, Greenville DPS Fire, and Montcalm Township Fire were called in to assist. Once the structures were extinguished, it was determined that the first structure had been occupied and a body was discovered.

Detectives from the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post and MSP Fire Investigators were dispatched to the scene for an investigation. After several hours of investigation, a second body was discovered.  

One of the deceased individuals has been identified as Serafina Wyckoff, a 68-year-old woman who resided at the residence. Due to the intensity of the fire, DNA testing will be required to make a positive identification of the second victim.

Investigators have stated that this investigation is being treated as a homicide but there is no threat to the public.  The investigation continues and updates will be provided as they become available.

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Have you seen this girl?


Police are searching for a missing 15-year-old girl and are asking for the public’s help.

Tisa Marie Butler, 15, left her home in the 2000 block of North State Road, in Ionia County, with an unknown male on Sunday morning, March 21.

According to the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post, troopers responded to the residence at approximately 11:14 a.m., after the girl’s parents were informed that Tisa, a white female, left the residence with an unknown white male in a gold in color, Chevrolet Uplander. The male is described as having dark hair, standing approximately six feet in height, and appearing to be in his mid to late 20’s. 

Their location is unknown.  The State Police are asking for the public’s help in locating this missing teen. Anyone with information on her whereabouts or the identity of the male driving this vehicle is asked to call 911 or the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post at 989-352-8444.

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Three arrested in Sand Lake meth bust


Crystal methamphetamine recovered in the Sand Lake drug bust Feb. 10. Photo courtesy of the MSP.

Detectives from the Central Michigan Enforcement Team (CMET) arrested three people from Sand Lake Tuesday on several charges related to both crystal methamphetamine and weapons.

On Tuesday, February 10, 2021, Central Michigan Enforcement Team (CMET) detectives, assisted by Troopers from the Lakeview Post and the Michigan State Police Emergency Support Team, executed a search warrant in the 100 block of Long Road in Sand Lake.  After a lengthy investigation involving the sales of crystal methamphetamine, two people at the scene were arrested for possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house: Storm Leighton Snow, a 32-year-old male; and Falicia Ann Boyd, a 28-year-old female. The two were arrested without incident.

Suspect Zachary Lumbert is charged with carrying an unregistered concealed weapon. Photo courtesy of the MSP.

A third person, Zachary Nelson Lumbert, age 35, was arrested on a traffic stop after leaving the residence and was found to be in possession of a large quantity of crystal methamphetamine and carrying a concealed, unregistered handgun. 

All three subjects, from Sand Lake, were lodged at the Montcalm County jail and arraigned in the Montcalm County District Court on February 11.

Storm Snow

Snow was charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, and one count of maintaining a drug house. He bonded out on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.

Falicia Boyd

Boyd was charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine. She bonded out on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

Zachary Lumbert

Lumbert was arraigned on four charges: one count of manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance-methamphetamine; one count of carrying a concealed weapon; one count of felony firearm; and one count of maintaining a drug house. His bail was set at $150,000 cash/surety. He is still in custody.

All three suspects a have a probable cause conference set for February 24 at 10:30 a.m.

CMET is a multi-jurisdictional drug enforcement task force that works in Ionia, Newaygo, Montcalm, and Mecosta counties comprised of police officers from the Michigan State Police, Ionia County Sheriff’s Department, Big Rapids DPS, Montcalm County Sheriff’s Department, Mecosta County Sheriff’s Department, and Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department.

Anyone who would like to provide information about drug activity in CMET’s work area can call CMET’s tip line at 1-800-342-0406 or Silent Observer.

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Police search for missing man


Richard Lee Wymer is considered missing-endangered

Richard Lee Wymer

Police are searching for a 70-year-old Mecosta County man who went missing Sunday morning after shoveling his driveway.

According to police, Richard Lee Wymer, 70, was last in 7000 block of 10th Ave, in Wheatland Township, Remus, Michigan.

Wymer left around 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning, in his 2000 Suburban, and traveled northbound from his residence towards M-20. The vehicle is a gun metal gray-colored suburban, with some rust. It has a large Harley Davidson decal on rear window and most likely will have Trump MAGA hat on the dashboard. The license plate number is 9LMM66.

Wymer is described as a white male, about 6-foot 2, 240 pounds, with gray/silver shoulder length hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a flannel coat, light brown stocking hat, blue jeans, and had green boots on.

He left his wallet, credit cards, cash, and cell phone at home. His vehicle had approximately 1/3 of a tank of gas with minimal spare change in it, and it’s unknown if any other money was in the vehicle.

He spent most of his life in the Gratiot County area but does have property in the Mancelona area.

If you have information about their whereabouts, please call 911 or the Michigan State Police Post in Mount Pleasant at 989-773-5951.

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Troopers investigate armed robbery


Troopers from the Michigan State Police Post in Lakeview are investigating an armed robbery at the Citgo/AGO gas station on M-46 near US-131 in Reynolds Township on Christmas Eve.

According to police, the robbery occurred about 2:48 a.m. December 24.

Police said the male suspect entered the store and produced what appeared to be a handgun. The suspect then took an undisclosed amount of cash, coins, and cigarettes. The suspect fled the scene in an silver-colored 2000’s Chevy Tahoe.  

The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’10” tall, 250-260 lbs. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black face mask, black sunglasses, and black gloves. The suspect vehicle was last seen traveling westbound on M-46 Hwy towards US-131.

State Police are asking for assistance in locating or identifying the suspect or vehicle involved in this incident. Anyone that has any information regarding this robbery or suspect vehicle is asked to call the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post at (989) 352-8444.

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National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week Nov. 9-15


Crash on EB I-69 by exit 94.

Each year across the country, hundreds of emergency responders are struck and injured or killed while responding to traffic incidents. This year National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week is Nov. 9-15 and the theme is “Slow Down. Move Over. Be Safe.” It focuses on the fact that everyone has a role in traffic incident response. Simply slowing down, moving over, and driving safe around incidents and first responders can save lives.

Unfortunately, first responders are still being struck and killed or injured at an alarming rate. Safety, emergency, local, and state groups and organizations around Michigan will use the week to educate drivers and local public safety professionals about the dangers of traffic incident response in an effort to prevent injuries and deaths.

Michigan residents can join the effort by ensuring their vehicle is in good working condition, packing a roadside emergency kit, and remaining in their vehicle until help arrives. When driving near an incident scene, Michigan’s Move Over Law requires motorists to slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit and move over if possible. This law applies to stationary emergency vehicles with flashing lights activated, including roadside tow trucks and courtesy vehicles operated by MDOT. It also applies to garbage trucks, road maintenance, and utility service vehicles that have amber lights flashing. State Police.

As of November 10, 18 people died on Michigan roadways since last week, making a total of 873 this year. In addition, there were 77 more people seriously injured for a statewide total of 4,553 to date. Compared to last year at this time, there are 37 more fatalities, and 219 fewer serious injuries. Numbers are provided by the Michigan State Police.

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MDOT prepares to meet the challenge of winter during a pandemic


With winter already on its way to parts of the state, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is doing what it does every year: preparing. But this winter may pose new challenges for keeping our roads clear.

“Over the years, maintenance workers at the state and local levels have handled everything winter could throw at them but, with the continuing threat of COVID-19, this is going to be an unprecedented winter,” said State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba. “We’re working with local agencies and county road commissions to plan for contingencies, but we want drivers to know the pandemic could affect our ability to maintain winter levels of service.”

The goal of MDOT and its partner agencies remains clearing highways to bare pavement as quickly as possible after a winter storm. If MDOT or local contract agencies are temporarily affected by COVID-19 infections or associated quarantines, it may take longer to reach this goal.

“During snowstorms, MDOT and our contract agencies will have all available staff out working to clear roads as quickly as possible,” Ajegba said. “We’ll be asking the public for their patience and understanding if we need to manage temporary staff shortages. We’ll do the best we can with the resources available.”

As we move into winter, drivers need to remember they also share responsibility for safety when they venture out. Motorists must follow Michigan’s Basic Speed Law, which requires them to drive at a “careful and prudent” speed in all driving conditions that also allows them to be able to stop within the clear distance ahead. It may mean driving slower than the posted speed limit.    

MDOT and Michigan State Police (MSP) collaborated to produce a video (which you can find on youtube at (https://youtu.be/hCG85h7sm-c) with information on how roads are maintained each winter and the actions motorists should take now to be prepared for inclement driving conditions. The video also covers:

  • How to prepare your vehicle for winter driving, such as making sure tires are in good condition and that all snow and ice have been cleared from your vehicle before heading onto the road;
  • Why drivers should give plow operators extra space, and consider staying behind them in winter storms;
  • How drivers can see what plow truck operators see through the Mi Drive travel information website, at (https://mdotjboss.state.mi.us/MiDrive/map) and see their position on state routes in real time; 
  • The use of green lights on plow trucks; 
  • Michigan’s mover over law at (www.michigan.gov/documents/MDOT_Vehicle_Caution_Law_116834_7.pdf) which requires motorists to move over for stationary emergency vehicles with their lights activated or slow down and pass with caution if it is not possible to safely change lanes, and 
  • Other reminders for winter driving, such as avoiding distractions, using headlights during winter weather, and leaving extra space between vehicles.

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Howard City man arrested for child sexually abusive activity


Kevin Scott
Narloch

Investigation finds exploitation of minor children

The Michigan State Police (MSP) Computer Crimes Unit (CCU), Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, announced the arrest of Kevin Scott Narloch, 42 of Howard City, following an undercover investigation into his online activity.

The MSP CCU/ICAC Task Force Grand Rapids Office, along with the assistance of the Montcalm County Sheriff Department, arrested Narloch following a search warrant at his residence. Additional evidence was seized, and he was lodged at the Montcalm County Jail. The Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office charged Narloch and he was arraigned on aggravated distribution of child sexually abusive material, aggravated possession of child sexually abusive material, aggravated manufacturing/copying of child sexually abusive material, and three counts of using a computer to commit a crime.  

The MSP CCU encourages parents to speak to their children about the safe use of the Internet. There are many resources available to parents to assist in keeping children safe online. The NCMEC provides a comprehensive list of resources on their website at http://www.missingkids.org. The MSP ICAC Task Force also provides resources at https://www.michiganicac.com/.

If you have information regarding possible child sexual exploitation, report it to the CyberTipline at http://www.missingkids.org/cybertipline.

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Elementary school educator gets 60 years for child exploitation


James Verne Russell

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN—James Verne Russell, 50, a former Michigan teacher and principal, was sentenced to serve 720 months in the Federal Bureau of Prisons for sexual exploitation of two minors. U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff also imposed lifetime-supervised release should it be necessary. Russell was also sentenced on October 8, 2020 by Muskegon County Circuit Court Judge Annette R. Smedley to 20 to 95 years in the related sexual assault case.

In sentencing Russell to serve 60 years in prison, Judge Neff stated the offense “is about as serious as it gets” because of the extended length of time and “circumstances in which you took advantage of children.” Judge Neff commented that in her thirty-two years as a judge “you think you’ve seen it all” and then “something like this happens.” “You come face-to-face with a human being whose behavior you just can’t understand.” “How you can take a little boy from an awful situation” and “take what little he has away from him.” “There are very few cases that will stick out to me after all these years, but yours will. I promise you.”

Russell was in education for 22 years. He was an elementary school teacher for 16 years and an elementary school principal for six years in the Ravenna and North Muskegon School Districts. In June 2018, a teacher filed a complaint about Russell’s unusual interest in two students.

Russell was suspended by the school district and later resigned. He then moved to Las Vegas and joined the Clark County School District as a fourth grade teacher. Russell came to the attention of law enforcement, in March 2019, when the FBI Las Vegas Child Exploitation Task Force received a CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding a recent upload of dozens of images, some depicting child pornography. When confronted by investigators from the FBI Las Vegas and Henderson Police Department, Russell confessed to possessing the pictures. Norton Shores Police and FBI Grand Rapids located and interviewed the victim in Michigan. The victim, identified as Victim 1 in the charges, confirmed that he was the child depicted and that Russell had sexually molested him for years. A search of Russell’s cell phone and computers disclosed numerous other images of child pornography, many of which Russell had produced himself. Further investigation disclosed another boy, identified as Victim 2, who was victimized in 2017, and a third individual who had been sexually abused by Russell beginning in 1996.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office brought federal charges against Russell for the production, transportation, and possession of child pornography. The Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office charged Russell for the sexual assaults of Victim 1. As part of a joint resolution, Russell pleaded guilty to a sexual assault charge in Muskegon County, and pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child pornography in federal court.

Russell started his career in education in 1996. That same year, he began grooming and sexually assaulting his first victim. Russell volunteered to work with children in many capacities, including as a long-term guardian, babysitter, elementary and middle school basketball coach, lifeguard, camp counselor, and youth ministries assistant at various churches. In its sentencing memorandum, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, “Russell’s conduct is not one of opportunity or an isolated aberration. His was a deliberate and dedicated career of manipulation and sexual abuse.”

In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge stated, “Russell’s conduct is an abomination. He worked and volunteered his way into the lives of our children, not as a service to our community, but as a means to identify, target, and sexually exploit vulnerable children.

Those who are in a position of trust and sexually abuse children will be held accountable. There is no parole in the federal system. Russell will spend the rest of his life in prison and will never have the chance to molest another child.”

“The FBI is committed to working alongside our law enforcement partners to protect children from being exploited by people like Mr. Russell,” said David G. Nanz, Acting Special Agent in charge of the FBI in Michigan. “He used positions of trust to gain access to vulnerable children, abuse them and record the abuse for his own perverse pleasure. His actions were reprehensible and represent the worst betrayal of innocence and trust imaginable.”

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site: www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel Mekaru and Austin Hakes, in cooperation with the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office, and investigated by Henderson (Nevada) Police Department, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Norton Shores Police Department, FBI in Las Vegas, and WEBCHEX – “West Michigan Based Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force,” a partnership of FBI, Michigan State Police, and local agencies dedicated to investigating offenses against children.

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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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