Police identify two men found in Heights garage


Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — Michigan State Police identified the two men found dead in a garage in the 8500 block of Lochdale as Dearborn Heights Police Sgt. John Burdick, 46, and Dearborn Heights resident James McEwen, 45.

Dearborn Heights police were called to the house about 9:15 a.m. May 15 when the homeowner discovered the two bodies in her garage.

Burdick was off duty at the time of the incident.

Paramedics were called to the scene where the two men were pronounced dead.

McEwen lived in the house with his girlfriend — the homeowner — and Burdick lived in the same block of Lochdale.

State Police took over the investigation because the case involves a Dearborn Heights police officer.

“There was no signs of foul play or trauma,” MSP 1st Lt. Michael Shaw said. “A physical autopsy has been completed and we will learn more about the deaths from toxicology reports.”

Burdick was promoted to his sergeant position in last month after working with the DHPD for 18 years.

Mayor Dan Paletko said in a May 15 statement that he was saddened and shocked when he learned of Burdick’s death.

“I knew Sgt. Burdick for many years, and throughout that time was always impressed by his desire to represent the community and our police department so professionally,” the statement read. “He was a dedicated veteran of the department and a respected, valued and well-liked member of the Dearborn Heights family of employees.

“John will be missed by all who worked with him. On behalf of both the employees and residents of the City of Dearborn Heights. I offer my sincere condolences, my thoughts and my prayers to his family.”

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at znajm@bewickpublications.com.)