Kalkashi man charged with hiding bodies


January 25 – Kalkaska. A report of two dead bodies in a home in the town of Clearwater prompted a search warrant and arrest for the owner of the property and another person, Kalkaski’s deputies said Tuesday.

Kenneth Roy Wilke, owner of the property, was initially arrested on a Kalkaska County warrant and later arraigned on two counts of covering up people’s deaths.

Police said they found the bodies of Erich Thayer Lutz, 61, and Debbie Sue Lutz, 63, at Wilke’s home.

Drug paraphernalia was found near their bodies, indicating the possibility of a drug overdose, police said. Their bodies were sent for autopsy in Grand Rapids.

Police did not identify the second man, who was arrested after leaving the house, but they said he was a suspect who would likely be charged with drug possession.

According to a press release from Sheriff Patrick Whiteford, they were informed of the presence of bodies at the residence at noon on January 11.

The case remains open pending autopsy results and other findings from the investigation.

The sheriff’s office is assisted by the Traverse City Narcotics Unit, the Northern Michigan Mutual Assistance Emergency Response Team, the Michigan State Police, and Kalkaska Emergency Medical Services.

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