Suspect apprehended during I-96 chase wanted in connection with homicide

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The suspect apprehended during a police chase on I-96 near Mason Road after 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, is being held in connection with the death of his 73-year-old father.

The suspect, 31, is in custody after his father was found dead late Thursday evening with his hands and legs bound in the Royal Oak home they shared.

Royal Oak police officers were called to the home after relatives notified them that repeated phone calls to the father and the suspect went unanswered.

Police found the 73-year-old man inside the house dead, his hands and legs bound. Officers then discovered the father’s vehicle, a white 2008 Chrysler Sebring, and son were missing.

As the investigation continued, Royal Oak officers learned a Berrien County deputy had contact with the son early Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, when the vehicle ran out of gas on I-94 near the Indiana border.

As a broadcast was sent to agencies throughout Michigan and neighboring states, Gratiot County deputies were called about a man acting erratically at a gas station.

Deputies identified the subject as the son, and were alerted that he was wanted in connection with a homicide investigation in Royal Oak. As the deputies attempted to take the suspect into custody, he assaulted the deputies and fled in the vehicle, sparking an hour-long pursuit through several counties. Gratiot County deputies pursued the vehicle through Clinton and Ingham counties, and it was on I-96 in Livingston County that deputies deployed spike strips, which disabled all four tires of the vehicle.

The son was taken into custody with the assistance of the Livingston County Sheriff’s deputies. No other injuries were reported along the pursuit, and the son was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Livingston for evaluation of minor injuries before being turned over the the Royal Oak Police Department.

The son remains in custody while Royal Oak detectives investigate. The father is believed to have died earlier in the week, and an autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause of death.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office will be submitting a warrant request to the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office and requesting charge of fleeing and eluding, and resisting and obstructing police.

Eastbound I-96 was shut down for two hours during the incident.

The Howell Area Fire Department, Livingston County EMS, Gratiot County Sheriff’s Office, Ingham County Sheriff Department, Michigan State Police, Lansing Township Police and Royal Oak Police also assisted.

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.