Body found near Kentwood ID’d as homeless man

An August 2014 photo of Walt Garcia-Lopez courtesy Sean Lancaster.

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities have positively identified the human remains found in a wooded area near Kentwood.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department says the remains were positively identified by dental records and tattoos to be 37-year-old Walter Garcia-Lopez of Texas.

Garcia-Lopez, who was homeless and a heavy drinker, had been known to sleep in remote locations and under freeway overpasses around the Grand Rapids area, the release said.

Deputies say the official cause of death issued by the Kent County Medical Examiner’s Office was ruled natural due to chronic-ethanol abuse.

A tip to Silent Observer around 3:45 p.m. Sunday led to the discovery of the partially decomposed body in Gaines Township.

The wooded area where the remains were found, located behind the Woodfield Apartments, north of M-6 and west of Eastern Avenue SE, is frequented by the homeless.

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