This afternoon, the Tecumseh Police Department in Lenawee County, Michigan issued a press release identifying the body found in a wooded area in the 400 block of S. Maumee Street on May 2, 2023, at 8:47 AM. The Lenawee County Medical Examiner’s office used dental records to positively identify the body as Melissa Gilbert, who was 51-years-old.
Over the last several years, Ms. Gilbert had been a resident of area shelters. Authorities have not determined the cause of death. They are waiting to get results on pathology and toxicology reports. In the statement released by Chief Brett D. Coker, foul play is not suspected at this time.
Ms. Gilbert’s family have been notified and they are in the process of making funeral arrangements.
The initial press release on this matter was issued by Tecumseh Police Department on May 2, 2023. Initially, investigators estimated the body of the woman to be 40 to 50 years old. They believed the body had been in that location for a period of weeks. Authorities did not believe there was a threat to the public.
The Tecumseh Police Department announced they had been assisted at the scene by the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office, the Tecumseh Fire Department, Lenawee Community Ambulance, the Lenawee County Drone Team, and the Lenawee County Medical Examiner’s Office.
According to the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, whose mission is to prevent and end homelessness, there were 30,805 homeless people in Michigan in 2020. Sadly, 5,289 of those people were over 55 years old and 7,172 were children. The average length of time a person experiences homelessness is 55 days.
If you would like to help end homelessness in Lenawee County, there are many volunteer opportunities at the various shelters in the area. Contact your elected officials and encourage them to support more housing and services. When you see someone on the street, don’t turn your head. Treat them with dignity and respect.
Ms. Gilbert’s body was found on the same day the Michigan State Police began a massive search for Dee Ann Warner, 52, who vanished on April 25, 2021 from her Tecumseh farm. Drones, cadaver dogs, and troopers canvassed various properties in Lenawee County for three days. The Tecumseh Police Department announced on May 2, 2023, that the body found behind the industrial area of Maumee Street was not related to the case of Dee Ann Warner to avoid confusion in the community.
What ways do you help end homelessness in your area? I’d love to hear your tips and advice in the comments!