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Tag Archive | "Michigan State Police"

Man arrested for causing fatal crash


Troopers from the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post have arrested a 29-year-old Coral man for causing a crash that costed another man his life last summer.

The crash occurred on July 4, 2017 on Kendaville Rd, west of Bailey Rd, in Maple Valley Township. Police investigation showed that Guy Petherbridge, 61, also of Coral, 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 the 29-year-old man. The impact caused the car to split in half and catch fire. Petherbridge suffered fatal injuries from the crash. The driver of the Ford truck suffered minor injuries. 

The Montcalm County Prosecutor’s office authorized a warrant for Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death and Reckless Driving Causing Death. The subject was arrested at his home in Coral and lodged at the Montcalm County Jail without incident. His name has not yet been released.

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Two State Police Troopers shot while serving search warrant


The scene of the shooting, hours after it occurred. Photo from woodtv.com.

MARSHALL—The Michigan State Police (MSP) confirmed that two MSP members, a detective sergeant and trooper, were shot during the execution of a search warrant related to a cold case investigation Wednesday morning, January 24, at approximately 11:15 a.m. in Union Township, in rural Branch County. 

When troopers announced their presence prior to making entry into the residence on Francisco Road, the suspect leveled a long gun at the officers. They were attempting to take cover when D/Sgt. Aaron Steensma, of the Marshall Post, was shot in the chest (reportedly his clavicle) and Tpr. Daniel Thayer, also of the Marshall Post, was shot in the center of his chest and a bullet grazed his hand.

The detective sergeant was transported to the hospital, and the trooper did not seek medical attention. The round that struck Thayer in the chest was stopped by his ballistic vest. All MSP personnel were wearing body armor at the time of the incident.

Michigan State Police (MSP) Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue is relieved to report that D/Sgt. Steensma is in serious but stable condition at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.

“Thanks to the quick actions of troopers at the scene and the excellent medical attention he received from ProMedica Coldwater Regional Hospital, West Michigan Air Care, and the trauma team at Borgess Medical Center, D/Sergeant Steensma is doing remarkably well for the seriousness of his injury,” Etue stated.

The MSP Emergency Support Team responded, and has confirmed the suspect is deceased. No further details are available at this time, as the investigation is ongoing.

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134th Trooper Recruit School begins


 

Last week, 149 prospective state troopers started the first of 26 weeks of training at the Michigan State Police (MSP) Training Academy in Lansing. One of the recruits attending this school is Tyler Baker, of Cedar Springs.
“Public service is a very rewarding career. I commend our new recruits for taking this significant step,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “Thank you to Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature for their continued support which has allowed us to hire the next generation of state troopers. I am confident they will protect and serve the residents of Michigan well.”

In order to be selected to attend the 134th Trooper Recruit School, candidates had to pass a stringent selection process that included a physical fitness test, background investigation and hiring interview.

The recruits will reside at the MSP Training Academy from Sunday through Friday each week. Between wake-up at 5 a.m. and lights-out at 10 p.m., they will receive instruction in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing, ethics, first aid, criminal law, crime scene processing and precision driving in order to prepare them for careers as MSP troopers.

Recruits who successfully complete recruit school will graduate on July 12, 2018. 

The MSP is actively recruiting for future recruit schools. To learn more about a career with the MSP, visit www.michigan.gov/mspjobs.

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Police seek info in hit and run


The Michigan State Police Post in Rockford is looking for information on a hit and run that injured a pedestrian last Thursday, December 21, on 17 Mile Rd near Meijer.

Alex Michael Maas, 18, the son of Al and Ann Maas, was walking to Meijer on 17 Mile Rd, when he was struck by a vehicle across the street from Auto Zone. A man who witnessed it happen said the vehicle was a white SUV similar to a Cadillac Escalade. The vehicle then reportedly turned on to Edgerton.

Another couple also stopped right after it happened and tended to Alex while someone else dialed 911.

According to his dad, Alex suffered a concussion, bruised kidneys, a broken tooth, multiple scrapes and cuts, and required some stitches. He is home recovering from his injuries.

If anyone has any info on this hit and run crash, please call the Michigan State Police Post at 616-866-4411.

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Armed robbery suspect arrested


Antoon Defrens

A man suspected of committing four armed robberies in three counties during the month of December was arrested last week by police.

According to F/Lt. Kevin Sweeney, the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post has been investigating a series of armed robberies in Montcalm and Ionia Counties over the last few weeks. Investigations by detectives led to the arrest of the suspect in the early morning hours of December 22, after a short vehicle pursuit.

Antoon Defrens, 41, of Sheridan, was arrested and lodged in the Montcalm County jail. He is suspected of robbng the Belding Party Store in Ionia County on Saturday, December 9; the Sheridan Marathon Gas Station in Montcalm County on December 12; the Gowen General Store in Montcalm County on December 16; and the Rockford Marathon Gas Station in Kent County on Thursday, December 21.

Defrens is charged with two counts of armed robbery and two counts of fleeing and eluding for the robberies in Montcalm County. Charges in the third and fourth robberies, in Ionia and Kent Counties, are still pending.

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Opioid addiction assistance program expands statewide


Angel Program Now Available at all 30 MSP Posts

The Michigan State Police (MSP) Angel Program, which is a pre-arrest diversion program for persons struggling with drug addiction, is now active and operational at all 30 MSP posts statewide. Those seeking treatment can go to any MSP post during business hours, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Angel Program, which is modeled after a similar initiative developed in 2015 by the Gloucester, Massachusetts Police Department, allows someone with a drug addiction to walk into a state police post to seek help for their addiction, without the fear of arrest or investigation. If accepted into the program, the individual is guided through a professional substance abuse assessment and intake process to ensure proper treatment placement. An “Angel” volunteer, who is a member of the local community, is present to support the individual during the process and to provide transportation to the identified treatment facility.

“The opioid epidemic is real and we all need to do our part to stop it,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “More people in Michigan die from drug overdoses than car crashes, and the Angel Program is one way the Michigan State Police is helping to reduce drug demand and serve those struggling with this deadly addiction.”

The Angel Program first launched in October 2016 at the MSP Gaylord Post. Since then it has expanded across the state, most recently becoming operational in metro Detroit. To date, 37 people have been admitted to treatment through the program.

“The addiction epidemic is impacting every community in our state and having the Angel Program available across Michigan will help families struggling with addiction have more second chances and fewer funerals,” said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. “Congratulations to the Michigan State Police and everyone involved in expanding this life-saving program for this national problem.” 

The Angel Program is made possible thanks to a partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans, private donations and a grant from P.A.A.R.I. (the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative). P.A.A.R.I. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the Gloucester Police addiction initiatives, aid other police departments to implement similar programs, and foster a dialogue around the unique opportunity for police departments to take direct action against the disease of drug addiction in their communities. 

If you are interested in learning more about the MSP Angel Program, would like to become an Angel volunteer or wish to make a donation to support the initiative, visit www.michigan.gov/AngelProgram

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State Police request info from Montana authorities 


Tanner’s photo is shown age-progressed to 11 years He was last seen on November 26, 2010. Tanner was last seen wearing camouflage pajama pants and a Scooby-Doo shirt. Photo from National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Andrew’s photo is shown age-progressed to 15 years. He was last seen on November 26, 2010. Andrew was last seen wearing brown pajamas with orange trim.

Alexander’s photo is shown age-progressed to 13 years. He was last seen on November 26, 2010. Alexander was last seen wearing black pajama pants and a grey shirt.

following discovery of human remains 

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, the Michigan State Police (MSP) First District Special Investigation Section learned that human remains were found in Montana in September, that were recently determined to likely be the skeletal remains of three children. 

MSP investigators are working with Missoula police to determine if there is any connection to Andrew, Alexander and Tanner Skelton, who were reported missing from Morenci, in Lenawee County, the day after Thanksgiving in 2010. There has been nothing previously reported to police linking the brothers to Montana, and it is not known at this time if the remains are from related siblings. 

Further forensic testing has been requested by police in Montana that may provide more answers. Until this testing is completed and additional investigation by law enforcement in Montana occurs, it cannot be determined if these remains belong to the missing Skelton brothers. 

In the years since the Skelton brothers disappeared, their vanishing has been vigorously investigated by the Morenci Police Department, FBI and MSP. Significant assistance has also been provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 

In 2013, the MSP became the lead investigating agency. New age-progression photos of the three brothers were released in November 2016. 

At the time the boys went missing they were in the care of their father, John Skelton. Skelton pleaded no contest to three counts of unlawful imprisonment in September 2011, after he claimed he gave the boys to unknown individuals. Skelton is currently serving a 10-15 year prison sentence. 

The public is asked to provide any tips or information to the MSP at www.michigan.gov/michtip or by calling 517-636-0689. 

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MSP 133rd Trooper recruit school graduates


The 133rd Michigan State Police trooper recruit school graduated last week, adding 127 new troopers to their ranks. Courtesy photo.

Pledging to provide “Service With a Purpose,” 127 new Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers reported for work at MSP posts across the state this week after graduating from the 133rd Trooper Recruit School Thursday, November 30. Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP, administered the Oath of Office during the ceremony at the Lansing Center.

“These men and women have chosen a very rewarding career,” said graduation keynote speaker, Governor Rick Snyder. “We wish our newest troopers safety each day. Thank you for dedicating your life to serving and protecting the residents of our great state.”

In her address to the graduates, MSP Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue said, “I know you chose this career to help people and to keep communities safe. Strive every day to make a positive impact in the lives of the citizens we serve.”

Tpr. Brendan Stanford was elected Class Orator by his fellow recruits and spoke on behalf of the graduating class at the ceremony. Other award recipients included Tpr. Andrew Bilbrey, who received the Academic Achievement Award; Tpr. Shane Hauff, who received the Team Building Award; and Tpr. Shaun Garvey, who received both the Marksmanship Award and Outstanding Performance Award.

Twenty of the graduates will serve in the Sixth District. Those assigned to the Rockford post include: Daniel Greeting, of Fremont; Scott Hilgeman, of Fruitport; James Pavwoski II, of Owosso; Matthew Slagter, of Dorr; and Brendan Stanford, of Washington, Iowa. Those assigned to Hart include: Conner Crutchfield, of Frankfort; David Dawson, of Niles; Andew Lindsay of Trenton; and Joseph Tafralian, of Novi. Those assigned to Mount Pleasant include: Dakota Kolo, of Houghton Lake; Nicholas Longuski, of Midland; and Jacqueline Pereyra, of Lawrenceville, Georgia. Those assigned to the Lakeview Post include: Jennifer Alway, of Ludington; Austin Brown, of Waterford; Zachary Darter, of St. Louis; Erron Morton, of Ann Arbor; Trevor Rogers of Blanchard; Kyle VanArman, of Parma; Autin Van Horn, of Greenville; and Austin Wolven, of Hudsonville.

The 133rd Trooper Recruit School began on June 4, 2017, when 160 prospective troopers reported to the MSP Training Academy in Lansing. For the past 26 weeks, recruits received training in firearms, water safety, defensive tactics, patrol techniques, report writing, ethics, first aid, criminal law, crime scene processing and precision driving.

In order to be selected to attend the academy, all applicants had to pass a stringent selection process that included a physical fitness test, background investigation and hiring interview.

As part of the department’s commitment to community outreach and service, the recruits volunteered at Mt. Hope Elementary School, delivered meals for Meals on Wheels, worked in soup kitchens in Ingham County, sorted clothes at Upscale Resale Store in Lansing and exercised with students at Maple Valley High School in Vermontville.

The MSP is actively recruiting for a trooper recruit school anticipated to begin in January; interested
candidates should visit www.michigan.gov/mspjobs for more information on how to apply.

Including these new troopers, there are 1,244 troopers assigned statewide.

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Tips sought to help identify human remains found in 1994 


 

Artistic renderings released 

Investigators from the Michigan State Police (MSP) Alpena Post and the Alcona County Sheriff’s Department are seeking information from the public to help identify human remains found in Northern Michigan 23 years ago. 

A bow hunter discovered the human skeletal remains in October 1994 while walking in a wooded area off Bamfield Road, between Curtisville and Alcona Dam, in Alcona County. The Alcona County Sheriff’s Department was the lead investigating agency with the MSP crime lab assisting in the recovery of the remains from the scene. 

Michigan State University Anthropologists have determined the remains are that of a female 30-50 years old and approximately 4’ 7” to 5’ 6” tall. The woman was likely of European ancestry, commonly referred to as Caucasian, but no population group should be excluded. Evidence of a fracture to the skull indicates she may have experienced some type of trauma at or around the time of her death. The remains may have been in the wooded area for up to four years before being discovered. 

As DNA technology advanced, so has the investigation. A mitochondrial DNA sample was collected by scientists at the University of North Texas Health Science Center for Human Identification and a full DNA profile has been uploaded to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database. A case profile has been posted on the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) database at https://identifyus.org/en/cases/8371

Several artistic renderings have been done by forensic artists and are being released to help prompt tips from the public. The following techniques were used: 

First image (left) – Two-dimensional sketch completed by a MSP forensic artist. This was drawn in graphite and used anthropological landmarks on the skull to give a glimpse of what the woman may have looked like when alive. 

Second image (middle) – Digital rendering completed by a forensic artist from Louisiana State University’s Missing Persons Molecular and Medical Genetics Department. This technique was aided by a 3D scan of the skull. 

Third image (right) – 3D clay model of the skull completed by a FBI forensic artist. This technique is much like the two-dimensional approach, but uses clay applied to the cast skull. 

If you have a lead on who this person might be, please contact D/Sgt. Jennifer Pintar, MSP Alpena Post, 989-354-4101 or Deputy Nathanael Leeseberg, Alcona County Sheriff’s Department, 989-724-6271. 

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State Police reports 10 fatalities over holiday weekend


The Michigan State Police (MSP) announced on Monday, November 27, that preliminary reports indicate 10 people lost their lives in 10 separate traffic crashes during the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which is the same as the previous year. 

One of those was Christina Kent, of Cedar Springs. (See page one story.)

 “These numbers are preliminary and only reflect those fatalities reported to the MSP as of 11 a.m. today,” stated Spl/F/Lt. Jim Flegel, State Services Bureau. “The preliminary numbers show the same number of fatalities from this holiday period last year. The MSP continues to urge motorists not to drive while impaired, always use proper restraints and to make responsible driving decisions.” 

The 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend ran from 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22, through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017. 

Operation C.A.R.E. is a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing traffic crashes and fatalities on highways across the country. It began in 1977 as a collaborative effort between the MSP and the Indiana State Police. Today, Operation C.A.R.E. is one of the nation’s longest running traffic safety initiatives and includes state and highway patrol agencies from all 50 states, as well as some American territories, Canadian provinces, and the Virgin Islands. Beginning this year, Operation C.A.R.E. includes participation from police agencies affiliated with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) as well. 

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