Who's using the Detroit River as a dumping ground for men's bodies for the last 52 years but only in June
Between 1968 to 2015, eight victims have been found in the river. So far they've all remained unidentified.
June 9, 1968
Victim number one was a white man, age 55 to 65. When his remains were recovered from the Detroit River near Fort Wayne, decomposition had set in but his death was listed as a homicide. He was 5'7", weighed a little under 200 pounds, and he had gray hair. He wore a blue pea cot, a black shirt over a gray shirt, and long johns. Black rubbers covered brown shoes, and he wore a gold-tone ring with a white stone in his left ring finger. He had been in the water for about a week.
June 15, 1983
Fifteen years had passed, and the second victim was recovered from the river behind the Detroit Free Press building. He was between 40 to 50 years of age, 5'9" and weighed about 180 pounds. Due to decomposition, identification was not possible.
He was wearing a green corduroy jacket, and warmer chemical packs were found in the front pocket. Underneath he had on a blue/grey/red checkered shirt. He had on jeans and gray underwear. On his feet were insulated boots with striped white socks.
On the same day, another man, younger was recovered from the Detroit River at the foot of Joseph Camapu Avenue. He was also white, in his 20s, 5'9", weighing 155 pounds. He had brown, curly hair, a sparse goatee and his eyes were brown. Like the others, identification was not possible due to decomposition.
He was wearing a K-mart brand, green/khaki coat, a Branded Lion bluejean zippered jacket, black, long-sleeve synthetic shirt size 15-33. Gray pants with "Scott" written on the inside, brief style underwear inscribed with "Lewis 31854" inside. His socks were blue and gray and non-matching. He wore wove-style slip-on shoes size 7.5
June 30, 1983
Two weeks later, a black male, 15-25 years old was found in the river near the foot of Helen Street. Identification again could not be completed due to decomposition. He was 5'6", and the weight could not be estimated. He was wearing brown pants, but no shirt or shoes. He had two gold chains around his neck.
June 17, 1990
Seven years later a black male in his 30s was taken from the Detroit River, downriver from Lake Saint Clair. He had been in the water for days, and identification could not be completed because of decomposition. He was 5'10" and weighed 215 pounds. His fingernails were long, he had a scar on his left wrist and a mole on his right thigh. He was wearing only white socks and underwear.
June 11, 1994
Four years passed since the last body was found. This time the victim was a white man, age 35 to 45. Authorities believed he died either in 1993 or 1994, and he came from another country, possibly Russia. He was 5'8", weighed 141 pounds and had brown hair and eyes. Two Moscow subway tokens and a lighter were found near the body. He wore Levis, along with Chinese Laundry Mark brown sweatpants, a black t-shirt, and a blue sweatshirt. He had on size 24EE (foreign size) tennis shoes and a belt. Decomposition prevented further identification.
June 8, 2006
Twelve years passed until another body was discovered. It was a black man between 40 to 60 years of age. He was found near the Belle Isle Harbor Master Station. Like the others, decomposition had set in and police estimated he could have died in 2005 or 2006. He was 5'7" and weighed 190 pounds.
June 13, 2015
A white male was taken from the Detroit River near the GM Renaissance Center. He could have died in 2014 or 2015. He had partially gray hair, cut short. He was clean shaven and was wearing Diesel Industries jeans, a white and blue striped button up shirt, a black leather belt and Hermes brand black leather loafers. Decomposition did not allow further identification.
The Detroit River acts as a border between the United States and Canada and runs for 28 miles. Because of its location it is one of the busiest waterways in the country.
The Detroit River is no stranger to murder victims being thrown into its depths.
In July, 2012, the bodies of a man and woman were pulled from the Detroit River. Both bodies had been decapitated, the hands and feet had also been cut off.
A fisherman discovered a circular saw and a suitcase with body parts inside. He was setting up his fishing gear along the river seawall when near Fox Creek he saw what he described as "three legs."
The area along the Detroit River is popular with anglers who come during the summer to fish for rock bass and walleye.
Fox Creek connects to several narrow canals accessible from residential back yards.
The victims were later identified as Chris Hall, 42 and his fiancée, Danielle Greenway, 32. An autopsy found Hall was shot six times, including twice to the head; Greenway was shot once through the mouth.
Within days of the discovery of the bodies, Roger Bowling who was Greenway's ex-boyfriend was arrested for the crime. The 39-year-old had been staying as a houseguest of the couple for only three weeks before he killed them. He had asked Greenway to stay there until he got back on his feet after a run of bad luck.
Robert Slick, a former friend and roommate of the accused testified at a preliminary hearing that Bowling said he would cut Greenway up and place her in a cooler before dumping it in the water. He said he had 10 conversation with Bowling around 2004, where they discussed how they'd "get rid of" the women in their lives. The pair knew each other since grade school.
He said that Bowling's anger towards Greenway was fueled because she was dating someone else, even though they had broken up five years before.
It was believed Bowling used his father's boat to take the bodies out to the river, after he shot them at the house they shared.
Bowling was charged with two counts each of first-degree murder and mutilation of a body.
In July, 2014, Bowling was found guilty. In October he was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
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