Detectives identify man, 67, found in bag along Gratiot County road

GRATIOT COUNTY (WJRT) - (03/13/18) - Investigators in Gratiot County have identified the man found dead inside a bag along a rural Seville Township road.

Rabbit hunters found the body of Robert Counterman Jr., 67, along Warner Road near Olive Road on Sunday morning.

"He was off the roadside into a ditch. There's no way a passerby would have saw him. I mean, it took the fact that these hunters were on foot and investigated it to find him," said Lt. Charles McCullom with the Gratiot County Sheriff's Office.

Detectives have not said how he died, but did say he was found in a plastic bag.

McCollum said Counterman's last known address was in Gaylord in Otsego County, but he may have been staying somewhere in Mid-Michigan recently.

"Establishing a timeline is going to be key, and the last person to see him, so we can figure out where he was. If there's a crime scene we need to know where that was so we can start investigating what happened to him -- how and where," McCollum said.

Monday, the sheriff's office released two photos of Counterman's tattoos as they worked to identify him, but it was his fingerprints that ended up identifying him.

Tuesday, police in Otsego County notified his family.

McCollum said community members could have seen something and not even realized its significance.

"A lot of times in our rural communities the residents in the area know who belongs and who doesn't," McCollum said. "So if a resident, whether it's local or who happens to pass through frequently, saw something that they don't normally see, vehicle or persons, we would like to know that information."

Anyone with a tip, big or small, should call the sheriff's office at 989-875-5214.

"They may or may not help. If they don't help, we're out nothing. If they do help, the information would be much appreciated," McCollum said.

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