Wanted Orchard Lake man, 3 kids found safe at lakeshore

Wanted Orchard Lake man, 3 kids found safe at Sleeping Bear Dunes

Posted: Updated:
GLEN HAVEN, Mich. (AP) -

By JOHN FLESHER
Associated Press

GLEN HAVEN, Mich. (AP) -- A 12-hour search for a man wanted on a domestic violence charge and his three young children ended when rescuers found them clambering down a hillside at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, leaving baffled authorities searching for answers.

"I feared for the worst," Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich said Monday night. "It all turned out well, but something was wrong with this picture."

The children -- the man's 14- and 10-year-old daughters and his 9-year-old son -- were exhausted, famished and covered with mosquito bites but otherwise unharmed, the sheriff said.

The 50-year-old father from the Detroit suburb of Orchard Lake faces a domestic violence complaint that his wife filed in Emmet County, the sheriff said.

He was jailed overnight. Petoskey District Court said a magistrate will set the father's bond on Tuesday, but no court hearing will be scheduled until Wednesday at the earliest.

No other charges were expected, Borkovich said.

The children had been given nothing to eat or drink since breakfast Sunday morning. They arrived that afternoon at the lakeshore in the northwest corner of Lower Michigan, about 280 miles northwest of Detroit, and spent the night in the woods with little shelter. A heavy rainstorm drenched the area Monday morning, and the remainder of the day was hot and muggy.

The motive for the man's actions wasn't immediately clear. The children told their rescuers they'd been on a camping trip, said Phil Akers, chief ranger at the national lakeshore.

"They didn't appear to have a lot of supplies or equipment with them," said Phil Akers, chief ranger at the national lakeshore. "Just kind of a spur-of-the-moment, `let's take off into the woods and go camping' trip."

The man got into a conflict with his wife Sunday during a vacation in Emmet County, Borkovich said. She filed a complaint against him with the county sheriff's department, which issued a misdemeanor warrant.

About 7 a.m. Monday, a lakeshore park ranger spotted a car with a dented door parked on a road near the Coast Guard Maritime Heritage Museum. Borkovich said the ranger ran a check on the license plate and learned there was an alert for the vehicle, touching off a massive manhunt.

Crews walked the Lake Michigan shoreline and combed wetlands and inland ridges. The search involved dozens of personnel from the Michigan State Police, the national park, the state Department of Natural Resources and the Leelanau County and Grand Traverse County sheriff's departments. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter team searched by air.

Parts of the lakeshore, including the popular Dune Climb, were closed to the public during the search.

Reinforcements from volunteer fire departments and other agencies arrived Monday night and began combing the area more systematically. The family was found about an hour later, walking down a sandy hillside. The terrain in the park along the northern Lake Michigan coast is a mixture of towering dunes and swampy woodlands thick with trees and undergrowth.

"We saw no criminal intent," Borkovich said afterward. "It didn't look like the subject was going to flee to Chicago with the kids or out west or to Mexico. It didn't look like he planned to harm them in any way. The spouse said he loves his kids and they love him. We got good word from his side of the family that he's a very gentle person and no problems.

"So as it turned out, it's a very strange event but all ended well."

  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:10:35 GMT
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
  • Charges to be determined after teen dies in car crash

    Charges to be determined after teen dies in car crash

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:59:07 GMT
    Seven teenagers were on their way back from a bonfire late Friday night. A 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition with her mom also in the car.
    Seven teenagers were on their way back from a bonfire late Friday night. A 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition with her mom also in the car.
  • How to handle a dog attack

    How to handle a dog attack

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-07-25 21:48:45 GMT
    After a 46-year-old jogger was killed in a dog attack, a local expert gives advise on what to do if you're attacked by a dog.
    After a 46-year-old jogger was killed in a dog attack, a local expert gives advise on what to do if you're attacked by a dog.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Michigan girl mauled by racoon receives wave of support

    Michigan girl mauled by racoon receives wave of support

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:52 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:52:22 GMT
    She told us all she wanted was to wear earrings -- and now she's got a lot of options. We'll show you how Charlotte is healing after surgery to replace her ear... and how you've made a difference. Her story includes a tragic accident, but also a tremendous outpouring of support. The 12-year-old girl from western Michigan who was attacked by a raccoon, shows us how the generosity of others is helping her heal. "This is all the jewelry people sent me," she said. Dozens of pairs of earrings and ...
    She told us all she wanted was to wear earrings -- and now she's got a lot of options. We'll show you how Charlotte is healing after surgery to replace her ear... and how you've made a difference. Her story includes a tragic accident, but also a tremendous outpouring of support. The 12-year-old girl from western Michigan who was attacked by a raccoon, shows us how the generosity of others is helping her heal. "This is all the jewelry people sent me," she said. Dozens of pairs of earrings and ...
  • Funeral arrangements set for murdered Armada teen

    Funeral arrangements set for murdered Armada teen

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:36 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:36:17 GMT
    Funeral arrangements have been set for the 14-year-old murdered in Armada last week. Meanwhile, investigators are still looking for a suspect.
    Funeral arrangements have been set for the 14-year-old murdered in Armada last week. Meanwhile, investigators are still looking for a suspect.
  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:10:35 GMT
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
Powered by WorldNow

4739 NW 53rd Avenue, Sutie B
Gainesville, FL 32653

Phone: (352) 371-0051

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices