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Posted on Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 10:20 a.m.

Police, medical examiner investigating death of man found in Ann Arbor alley

By Kyle Feldscher


The alleyway on the westside of downtown Ann Arbor where a 38-year-old Ypsilanti man was found dead.

Kyle Mattson |

The death of a 38-year-old Ypsilanti man found in an alleyway between West Washington and West Huron streets last week is under investigation, Ann Arbor police said.

Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush said Tuesday the 38-year-old man was seen by a passerby in the alley about 1 p.m. Wednesday. The person called police to check on him and he was unresponsive, Bush said.

After medical personnel checked his vital signs, the man was pronounced dead at the scene, Bush said. It appears he was treated at a local hospital earlier in the day and detectives are investigating. His death does not appear to be criminal in nature.

“We try to retrace the steps for the past 24 hours of a person and we bring in the detectives do that,” Bush said.

A reader alerted to the man’s death on Friday. Police sources reached last week were not aware of the incident. Bush said the incident appears to be of a medical nature and medical incidents are not usually immediately reported.

The temperature on Wednesday was approximately 51 degrees, leading police to believe the man did not freeze to death accidentally, and police have not been given the results of an autopsy performed on Friday.

Bush said the man’s body showed no visible signs of trauma. The case has been turned over to the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner’s Office. Family members have been notified of the man’s death.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

I missed it


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 5:16 a.m.

I wish we could nail-down, once-and-for-all, if Ann Arbor has "homeless veterans." I wish some agency would be proactive and Find Out if were entertain a population of "homeless veterans." Now Go and Do It!


Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 2:37 a.m.

I live right by here and there are SO MANY homeless people talking about drugs/getting drugs. I am not surprised if more things like this come up. Thanks to whoever decided to put the gate up by the grayhound station, because that has decreased some of the drug activity. When I walk my dog, I often get approached by the drugged out homeless people trying to talk to me. I have lived in ann arbor all my life. I don't remember ever being scared until these last few years and it is super sad. Long story short, this is now a part of town where you can expect to see more things like this. Breaks my heart.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

Did the man appear to be homeless?

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

GoNavy- Lt. Bush said he did not appear to be homeless, which was something I asked her directly.

Mr. Ed

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

How would Bush know with out the autopsey . Is she trained as a ME? If I recall my medical training only the ME can determin cause and manner of death. Please provide just the facts and do not speculate.

Silly Sally

Wed, Feb 6, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

"only the ME can determin cause and manner of death" It depends upon the death. If he had been seen walking and then was shot, or a car accident with severe head trauma , it doesn't take a ME to determine the cause of death. Most anyone can do so. In this case, I agree, only an ME can definitively determine the cause of death, as it is not apparent to a layman.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:42 p.m.

That information is often provided to police as a part of their investigation. Due to the workload of the MEs, it usually makes more sense to get in touch with Renee instead of them because of her availability. She might not be trained as a ME, but she would be given that information when it was available.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 5:42 p.m.

For all any of us know, this poor guy could have had medical problems that none of us know about and if so, they may have caused his untimely passing. My he rest in peace and his family not feel that they could have done more. You never know when you will be called home and it could be any where and at any time without warning.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 5:53 p.m.

Yes, the article says "he was treated at a local hospital earlier in the day."


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 4:57 p.m.

What a sad way to die. May he rest in peace, whoever he was, i am sure that there's a soft bed for him in Heaven. Yeah, there is a time when my bleeding-heart side emerges, better a bleeding heart than none at all! no apologies, so go ahead haters, vote me down!


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

So sorry about this. Not a good place to spend your last moments.


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 8:59 p.m.

I'm sure the Four Seasons penthouse would have been better place. I personally don't care where I die, I just don't want to live in an ally.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 3:42 p.m.

I realize there's going to be some discussion on the delay in reporting of this man's death. I want to mention we don't usually report on (seemingly) natural deaths unless there is extenuating circumstance, such as a public figure. In this case, because this man was found in public, we've chosen to report on it. Because this appears to be a medical-related death, it's possible that's why the sergeant I spoke to last week was not aware of the incident. I apologize for the tardiness, but between the homicide in West Willow, my coverage of the rape on Oakland Avenue and lots of breaking news on Friday and Monday, I wasn't able to follow up with Lt. Bush on this until this morning.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

Thank you so much for the kind words. I knew there would be some wondering about this, just wanted to make sure everyone's on the same page. Thanks for reading!


Tue, Feb 5, 2013 : 7:19 p.m.

Kyle, I have to give you "props"----you have really grown into your own since you first started at and it is refreshing to see that you just explain things rather than get defensive or find excuses. I always feel like you are really out there trying to get the "scoop" for us :)