State Police investigating deaths as homicide

Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — State Police are investigating the cause of death of the Dearborn Heights police officer and another man found dead in a garage in the 8500 block of Lochdale as a homicide.

MSP investigators have ruled out carbon monoxide poisoning and murder-suicide as the possible cause of death. There also were no signs of trauma or foul play.

“Autopsy reports and other tests are still being conducted to find the cause of death,” MSP 1st Lt. Michael Shaw said. “We are still investigating the incident as a homicide until evidence takes us a different route.”

Dearborn Heights Police Sgt. John Burdick, 46, and Dearborn Heights resident James McEwen, 45, were found dead about 9:15 a.m. May 15 when the homeowner discovered the bodies.

Both men were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

McEwen lived at the house with his girlfriend, the homeowner, and Burdick lived on the same block of Lochdale. Burdick was off duty at the time of the incident.

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

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

McEwen is survived by his son and girlfriend and Burdick is survived by his wife and two children.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at