Body parts discovered in Sterling Heights sewer

Body parts discovered in Sterling Heights sewer

Posted: Updated:
Police released this picture showing parts of a tattoo that was on the victim. Police released this picture showing parts of a tattoo that was on the victim.
Another picture showing more of the tattoo. Another picture showing more of the tattoo.
A third picture showing another part of the tattoo. A third picture showing another part of the tattoo.

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WJBK) -- A routine repair of the Oakland-Macomb Interceptor turned into anything but when workers discovered nearly 15 body parts in the sewer line in Sterling Heights caught up on a metal grate 50 feet below the area of 15 Mile just east of Maple Lane.

Deputy Macomb Public Works Commissioner Gene Schabath was on scene.

"They said it looked like it had been cut up some other place and just dumped."

Police believe the pieces were part of a torso and are now offering a major clue, what appears to be a very large tattoo.  Investigators released photos showing fragments of the images hoping someone may recognize who it belongs to.

"I think it was [a] dragon or Japanese tattoos like koi fish or something like that," said tattoo artist Mark Somo.

We took the photos to the Tattoo Gallery in Sterling Heights where Somo took a look.

Many pieces are missing, but at first glance he thought Japanese or Chinese dragon, but as he tried to put the images together like a puzzle, he started to compare the tattoo to the Grim Reaper.

Whatever it is, he believed the tattoo artist will know, calling the body marking elaborate and unique.

There is no question police have quite a mystery on their hands.  Right now it's not even clear where the parts may have been dumped before the current carried them to Sterling Heights.  There are 100 manholes north and west of the 21 mile long interceptor that stretches from Oakland County to Macomb County.

"It's hard to say where they originated from, but as far as investigating it, the first thing you are going to look for is a missing person that you might be able to identify," said Sterling Heights Police Lieutenant Luke Riley.

All we know at this point is that the victim is white.  The Macomb County medical examiner should have more information on Thursday.

If anyone has any information, they are asked to call Sterling Heights police.

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