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Mystery as missing man’s body found in air vent at Michigan college

Jason Thompson went missing in October

Amelia Neath
Tuesday 28 November 2023 22:15 GMT
Students speak after man’s body found in Michigan community college vent

The disappearance of a Michigan man who has not been seen since October took a mysterious and tragic turn when his body was found in a vent inside a community college.

Jason Anthony Thompson, 36, was reported missing by his family after he was last seen on 25 October.

Over a month later, a body identified as Thompson was found in a ventilation system in a Performing Arts facility at the Macomb Community College in Michigan on Sunday.

The discovery came after a foul smell started to come through the vents, the college campus police said in an initial news release.

"There is no reason to suspect foul play," Macomb College Police Chief William Leavens said.

The college police said they are awaiting a cause of death from the Macomb County medical examiner.

In Facebook posts made to her local community, Shelby Thompson, the sister of the deceased father-of-two, had made pleas throughout November to help find her brother.

She said in a post that showed CCTV footage of Thompson leaving her apartment at around 5.41pm on 25 October and was last heard from via text message at around 9.40pm.

Ms Thompson said she went to local hospitals, jails, and police departments to try and find her brother, but was met with no avail.

“Never in his life has he ever gone without contact with our family for more than 24 hours, not once,” she wrote in her appeal posts.

Missing poster created by Thompson’s sister

“This is completely unusual for my brother.”

A GoFundMe page for a funeral service set up by a person who claims to be Thompson’s cousin said he was a father to two young children.

“Jason was loved by many people, and his family has been through a lot over the past month while he has been missing,” the page stated after Thompson was found dead.

Thompson was not affiliated with the college, spokesperson Jeanne M. Nicol told NBC News. She could not say how he ended up in the performing arts building as the investigation is still ongoing.

“The college community extends heartfelt condolences during this difficult time to Mr. Thompson’s family and friends,” Ms Nicol added.

Classes at the college have been cancelled until next week, and the performing arts building remains closed.

Student Anna Venhuizen told Fox17that it is going to “be really weird” returning to class after the tragic discovery.

Macomb Centre for the Performing Arts, where Thompson’s body was reportedly found

“I could’ve walked right by where it was for the past few weeks," Ms Venhuizen said.

"I could’ve walked right by a dead body in the building and never have known it.”

Thompson was reported missing to the Sterling Heights Police Department on 1 November, just under a week since they last saw him.

The police department was saddened that their investigation into this missing persons case had ended this way.

"Sterling Heights detectives exhausted every resource and lead in attempts to locate Mr Thompson," Public Informational Officer Lt. Mario Bastianelli told The Independent.

"We received information from our law enforcement partners at Macomb Community College of the unfortunate discovery of Mr. Thompson. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family for the loss of their loved one."

The Independent has contacted the Sterling Heights Police Department and the Macomb Community College Police Department for further information.

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