Missing man found dead: No clues why man found near Parker Bridge was in Alabama

Published 12:12 pm Wednesday, October 15, 2008

By By Lisa Tindell – news editor
A Michigan man was found dead in Escambia County last week, but no one - including his wife - knows why he was in Alabama, and sheriff's deputies are investigating the death as “suspicious.”
The body of Claude VanDusen was found Thursday off County Road 4 near Parker Bridge, said Escambia County Chief Deputy John Gleaton.
VanDusen, 57, was a resident of Battle Creek, Mich., when he went missing Oct. 1, Gleaton said.
VanDusen's body was found in a wooded area near his vehicle and he appeared to have been dead for several days, Gleaton said.
VanDusen's hometown newspaper, The Battle Creek Enquirer, said VanDusen left his home the morning of Oct. 1 had never returned home.
His wife, Janet, along with police investigators in Michigan told the newspaper that VanDusen cashed a payroll check at a local banking institution and crossed the street to a service station, where he purchased gas and a cup of coffee.
VanDusen reportedly talked to a co-worker by cell phone, which officials said was the last contact area residents had with the victim.
He was employed as a maintenance worker at the Medical Office Building at Battle Creek Health System at the time of his death.
Officials in Battle Creek said no connection with anyone in Alabama has been determined in the investigation.
VanDusen's body was transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science in Mobile for an autopsy, Gleaton said.
Anyone with information concerning the death of VanDusen is asked to contact the Escambia County Sheriff's Department at 867-0304.