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Signs of foul play have Ann Arbor police investigating man's death as a murder

Posted at 5:49 PM, Jun 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-12 21:24:41-04

The mysterious death of an Ann Arbor man has had investigators working around the clock.

Police believe a 76-year-old man was murdered in his home. He was found dead when officers were performing a welfare check Monday night. 

Two neighbors say they knew the man and that he was supposed to attend a condo association meeting Monday night but he never showed.

His car had been gone all day, he wasn't answering his phone and they noticed a weird smell coming from the condo, a smell similar to that of burning plastic. That’s when they called police.

The University of Michigan chemistry department website lists Dr. Robert Sharp as Emeritus Professor.

Neighbors say he lives in the condo on the corner of King George Blvd and Alpine, that he was noticed missing on Monday and that he made a lasting impression on everyone he met.

“Yeah he just made me feel good,” says Jeff Steger who washes all the windows in the condominium complex. 

“I remember him very well because he was very nice. He came out and asked if we needed water and a lot of people don’t come out and ask you if you need anything when it’s hot,” says Steger.

Multiple evidence technicians walked in and out of the home wearing face masks, blue gloves and shoe covers. They crossed the same front porch where neighbors noticed a newspaper was left untouched and unread, a package was delivered but never opened. 

Ann Arbor police got the call around 10:00 pm Monday night, a request for a welfare check. When searching the home, police say they found a 76-year-old man dead in the basement.

Police say there were clear signs of foul play and opened a homicide investigation. 

“It's scary, you know, pretty scary,” says Steger. 

“This is all older people in here very nice community and it’s hard to believe that something like that happened right here.”

Neighbors say Sharp's cellphone was stolen recently and his condo broken into just last week. They worry those incidents could be connected to his death.

Watching evidence technicians wearing masks and carry out paper bags full of potential clues has friends very concerned about about how Sharp may have died. 

Neighbors say police are interviewing them in their search for answers.