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Michigan authorities locate body of Warren man who was reported missing in June

CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Nov. 16, 2023
CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Nov. 16, 2023 04:00

WARREN, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - The Warren Police Department has located the body of a 27-year-old man who was reported missing in June under suspicious circumstances. 

On June 9, friends and family reported that James Wilkins was missing. His body was found five months later on Monday, Nov. 13.

"Wilkins' body was located in a remote area in Oscoda Township near an access road," the Warren Police Department said in a press release. "The area was very desolate and covered with thick brush and trees. With the assistance of an MSP cadaver dog, investigators located the area where Wilkins' body was buried."

An autopsy is being conducted, which will provide investigators with additional information about Wilkins' death. 

"Our investigators were able to obtain credible and reliable information, which ultimately led us to Oscoda Township wherein Wilkins' body was located," said Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer. "We are awaiting the results of the autopsy, which will provide us with other key information and confirmation of Wilkins' identity. Detectives have already been in contact with Wilkins' next of kin regarding this major development. Our investigators never stopped working this case from the beginning as our goal was to locate Wilkins' body so that his family could have some closure. I want to commend the efforts of the men and women of the Warren Police Department along with our other law enforcement partners who worked on this case. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family and friends."

Background on James Wilkins' case

After loved ones reported the father and football coach missing, Warren police launched an extensive investigation, and they suspected foul play from the beginning. 

Warren police suspect foul play in case of missing father 02:35

While investigating, they identified Donald Renfoe, Wilkins' roommate, as a person of interest and executed search warrants at Wilkins' apartment and a car connected to Renfoe. 

Authorities discovered a recently patched bullet in the wall with blood while they searched the apartment. 

In addition, detectives found out that Renfoe rented cleaning equipment and bought cleaning supplies from a local store on the day Wilkins disappeared. 

Police say Renfoe also worked with a friend, identified as Darius Glenn, to clean the apartment, and authorities believe he helped Renfoe dispose of the body. 

Renfoe was charged with first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, concealing the death of an individual and felony firearm in connection to the incident. 

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