FREMONT, Mich. (WOOD) — The family of a man accused of killing and dismembering a Muskegon father said the allegations against the suspect don’t align with his character.
Anthony Shawn Blamer, Jr., 29, of Fremont was arrested Monday in connection with the death of D’Anthony Keenan, 24. On Tuesday, Blamer was charged with felony disinterment or mutilation of a dead body and felony concealing the death of an individual.
Part of Keenan’s dismembered body was discovered along a trail in the Manistee National Forest Saturday evening. Investigators told a judge that the victim’s head and hands had been removed from his body.
Investigators developed Blamer as a suspect after reviewing the victim’s Facebook activity and learning that the two were getting together in North Muskegon, according to a detective’s testimony in court.
Citing a confession from Blamer, investigators say the fight that lead to the victim’s death followed an argument about money.
Keenan and Blamer first met while lodged together in the Muskegon County Jail, police said. The suspect’s family said the two got together Friday afternoon because Blamer was working with Keenan and had installed a new stereo system in the victim’s vehicle. Blamer reportedly told police that Keenan drew a gun and was shot accidentally in the head as the pair fought over it.
Detectives said Blamer admitted the gun was fired repeatedly and Keenan was shot multiple times inside his Chevrolet Tahoe.
Blamer then allegedly drove Keenan’s SUV and body to the Fremont area, where he left both at a carpool lot. Detectives say he returned the next day with a chainsaw he bought at Walmart to dismember Keenan’s body so the victim wouldn’t be easily identified.
Authorities ultimately identified the victim using a birthmark on his body.
Blamer reportedly led investigators to where he left a bag containing the remainder of the body in Oceana County and also took them to the swamp where he dumped the chainsaw.
“The people of the community would be scared to death when you find that there’s a body dumped in the national forest in your area. This is a small community; we don’t have this sort of thing happen every day,” Newaygo County Sheriff Bob Mendham said Tuesday.
Mendham called the treatment of Keenan’s body “disgusting” and offered condolences to his family.
“This is just a hard thing to believe because I know he’s not like that,” Mike Clark, Blamer’s brother-in-law, told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday. “This is a first-time thing that has happened with him. I know it was a self-defense thing… He just don’t like hurting people.”
Clark said he hasn’t spoken to Blamer since the incident, but described him as a good man.
“I would trust him with my own life,” he said.
Blamer’s criminal history includes convictions for failure to pay child support, driving without a legal license and malicious destruction of property, according to Michigan State Police records.
As of Tuesday, he had not been charged with killing Keenan — likely because that part of the crime is believed to have happened in Muskegon County. So far, charges have only been filed in Newaygo County. Police in court said they expected other charges to be filed in the future.
On Wednesday, the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office said it had not yet made a decision about charges because the investigation was ongoing. The prosecutor’s office said it placed a hold on Blamer so he won’t be released from the Newaygo County Jail in the interim. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Silent Observer at 231.722.7463 or Michigan State Police at 616.866.4411.
Blamer is expected back in court on Newaygo County on Aug. 17.
Kenenan left behind two children, the oldest of whom is only 1. His loved ones expressed relief that an arrest had been made in the case. In a text message to 24 Hour News 8, the mother of his children responded simply:
“Yes!” she wrote. “Thank God!”