Body parts recovered belonging to man pulled from Detroit River, believed to be missing since '03
9:14 PM, Aug 15, 2013
1:16 PM, Aug 16, 2013
(WXYZ) - Police say a head and arms belonging to the body pulled from the Detroit River yesterday were found. They believe it to be a man who has been missing for ten years.
Authorities say identification was also found Friday. Although a DNA test is still needed to make a positive ID, police are almost certain it is 30-year-old Thomas Lange.
Police said it is too early to determine cause of death because the body is so badly decomposed. They believe the head might have fallen off while they pulled the car from the river.
"It is a strong likelihood that it is Lange, but until further analysis [we] cannot make a 100 percent determination," said Police Chief Grant. He also said the are investigating the report of a man who went missing from Lincoln Park in 2003.
Thursday, Wyandotte Police pulled a black Mercury Sable from the Detroit River after a scuba diver found the vehicle, removed the license plate and took it to police. It matches the car Lange was last seen driving. Police say the last time someone registered the license plate was in 2004.
"Why couldn't they have found him sooner?" asked Chris Luke. Luke says the person found in the car is without a doubt his buddy, 30-year-old Thomas Lange who went missing at the end of 2003. "Ten years is a long time to let the family suffer that long," he continued.
People last saw Lange at the Wheat & Rye Bar & Grill in Allen Park after he finished his shift at a nearby restaurant.
"I just remember that he was missing and we didn't have any details on what happened," said Luke. Lange's family says He made one last phone call at 12:30 a.m. on New Year's Eve 2003.
Friends suspect foul play because they say Lange would never have left his son. "He wouldn't just leave his kids. He just had a baby. There's no way he would just leave his child, up and leave," said Luke.
Luke said that now, almost a decade later, Lange's family and friends finally have some closure. "He was an awesome guy," said Luke. "He would do anything for any of us."
Friends are holding a vigil for Thomas Lange at McCaffery's Bar in Lincoln Park Friday at 9:30 p.m. The bar is somewhere that Lange had worked in the past.