Gladwin Community Asking Questions After Body Found In Burned Car

"People are wondering. They are scratching their heads, wondering what’s going on?"

Deputies found a burned-out car.

What they found inside prompted a much more serious investigation. 

Gladwin County Sheriff’s deputies found the body of an 86-year-old man.

They’re now trying to figure out how he got there.

Someone called 911 after finding the burned car in the Lame Duck State Game Area in Bourrett Township.

9&10’s Cody Boyer and photojournalist Derrick Larr have more details on the death investigation.


Deputies came out to this area of Bourrett Township in Gladwin County after they got a call about a supposedly abandoned, burned-looking vehicle.

When they found the Ford Taurus around this area, they had no clue what they would find inside.

“There were remains of a human being found within the vehicle,” says Sgt. Chad Smith, Gladwin County Sheriff’s Office. “The body was burned beyond recognition. It’s uncommon to have something like this happen. We have no idea."

Dental records identified the man as 86-year-old Edward Lakian from West Bloomfield.

Deputies asked police there for help and they went to check on him.

“They knocked on the door. No one answered,” says Dep. Chief Kurt Lawson, West Bloomfield Police. “They checked around the outside perimeter of the residence. They didn’t see anything suspicious. We had resident tell us that they had actually seen the resident the day before in a similar vehicle that was found up north."

Investigators from both agencies say the distance between West Bloomfield here in Bourrett Township, that’s about 130 miles.

This whole area that the car was located in, that’s around 11,000 acres to search.

“You don’t see that very often,” Dep. Chief Lawson says. “So we would want to put a lot of resources into that, a lot of checking."

“I think he was here for a reason,” says Jim Slebodnik, who heard about the incident after traveling into town.

Word spread quickly.

People in the area have plenty of unanswered questions.

“Hopefully, somebody will get to the bottom of all this and figure out why all this came about,” Slebodnik says.

We have reached out to Edward Lakian’s family who have not returned our messages at this time.

Meanwhile, deputies continue to investigate whether there was foul play or not.