Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Charred body of man discoveed after barn fire

This story was published by The Daily Ypsilanti Press of Tuesday, May 3, 1927.

Identity of a man whose charred remains were found Monday evening in the debris of a barn fire, is being sought by sheriff's officers today.

A bullet hole in the man's skull and a badly burned 22 caliber rifle beside him, make either murder or suicide possible.

The initials E. D. K., found on a watch, and H. K., on a wedding ring, are the only clues so far discovered.

The barn, an old structure which had been unused for some time, burned Jan 16. It was located on the Pleasant Lake Road, about two miles from Lodi Town Hall, and across from the Burns School, and belonged to William Ossius, who lives in Ann Arbor.

Monday afternoon a ten year old boy, William Scbroen,who lives with William Fritz, Freedom Township, tried of his task of digging post holes and when in the vicinity of the old barn, started poking about in the charred debris. He found the skeleton, called Mr. Fritz, and the officers were notified.

Preliminary examination by Deputy Clifford West and Coroner E. C. Ganzhorn revealed that the man was of medium build. His body was badly burned, about all that remained being the skull, ribs and hip bones. A portion of the jaw had been torn away.

Beside the body were found a man's belt buclke with the initial E., some over all buckles scissors, looking glass, two jack knifes, a dime and a penny.

Mr. Ossius who was questioned after the discovery was made, could offer no explanation. He had not used the barn for a period of several months, was not living at the farm when it burned, and had never known haw the fire started. He collected about $400 insurance on the building, which he estimated to be about half its value.

The sheriff's department has no record of any missing person whose initials correspond to those found on the watch and ring.

Surprise has been expressed that the body was not found sooner. childern from the school have passed by the old barn daily, and the Schroen child said the skeleton was in plan view when he stumbled upon it.

Coroner Gazhorn has ordered the remains held, while sheriff's officers endeavor to determine identity.

That is the story. What do you think happened?