2018-03-29 / Front Page

MSP locates bodies of missing couple

Canine officers find pair in Deadstream Swamp


SEARCH FINDS TWO BODIES First Lt. Josh Lator (center) addresses television and newspaper re­porters on the discovery of two deceased subjects in the Deadstream Swamp during a press conference at the Houghton Lake Post March 26. Also pictured are Trooper Joseph Mankiewicz (left), the lead investiga­tor in the missing persons case which began in November and Trooper Adam Whited and his dog Loki (right), who took part in the search Monday. (Photo by Thomas Reznich) SEARCH FINDS TWO BODIES First Lt. Josh Lator (center) addresses television and newspaper re­porters on the discovery of two deceased subjects in the Deadstream Swamp during a press conference at the Houghton Lake Post March 26. Also pictured are Trooper Joseph Mankiewicz (left), the lead investiga­tor in the missing persons case which began in November and Trooper Adam Whited and his dog Loki (right), who took part in the search Monday. (Photo by Thomas Reznich) Michigan State Police Canine Troop­ers from the Houghton Lake, Cadillac and Gaylord posts located the bodies of two subjects in the Deadstream Swamp in Missaukee County’s Norwich Town­ship March 26. Police suspect the bodies to be those of Jeff Hurley, 34, of Pruden­ville and Alexandria Foust, 19, of Cadil­lac, who were reported missing Nov. 7, 2017.

First Lt. Josh Lator, commander of the Houghton Lake Post, said during a March 26 press conference that warmer weather and changes in water and ice conditions allowed canine teams to ac­cess an area they could previously not reach, where they located the bodies. He said the families of Hurley and Foust have been notified and that positive iden­tification would be made as soon as pos­sible.

“It’s an unfortunate end to the situ­ation, but you have to be thankful for the closure,” said Samantha Corson of Houghton Lake, a cousin to Foust’s mother, Brandy Foust of Cadillac. She added that Foust leaves behind twin daughters who are still under a year old.

Foust’s great-aunt Jerri Hooker of Lake City said her family “would like to thank all the people who have supported our families throughout this horrific or­deal. The support has been overwhelm­ing. Our family will continue to look to the MSP for answers as they continue to work this case.” She said the fam­ily appreciates “everyone respecting the family’s privacy and giving us time to grieve.”

Hooker expressed special appre­ciation for the search efforts of Michael Neiger, and the “many nights he spent in the Deadstream Swamp.” She said updates on progress in the case will be posted on the Facebook page bringalex­home. A benefit for funeral expenses for Foust will be held April 6, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Jennings Community Church, 696 La Chance Rd., in Lake City.

Lator said the Houghton Lake Post initiated a search for Foust and Hurley immediately after they were reported missing in November, and that numer­MSP ous searches had been conducted using State Police canine teams as well as heli­copters, some of which were coordinated with volunteers. He noted that the Dead­stream Swamp includes 11,680 acres of flooding and heavy ground cover.

At the same time as searches were being made in the area where Foust and Hurley were last seen, Lator said State Police troopers and detectives “were fol­lowing up on all leads and tips received related to the missing couple. The MSP crime laboratories evaluated and pro­cessed multiple pieces of evidence re­lated to the investigation.”

Search efforts in November were hampered by weather with temperatures dipping into the teens and freezing rain and snow. The missing couple’s vehicle was found stuck in the mud near a gas pipeline by hunters, who also found personal belongings of the two missing subjects.

“The nature of this investigation is ongoing until positive identification is confirmed and all appropriate investi­gative measures have been taken. The family will be updated as positive iden­tifications are made and causes of death are confirmed. Although today’s news brings some closure to the incident, the Houghton Lake State Police Post family extends our sincere support to the fami­lies impacted by this tragic event,” said Lator.

Editor’s note: Miss Corson is an em­ployee of the Resorter.

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