Dearborn Heights police officer found dead in garage identified

Dearborn Heights police have identified the police officer found dead inside a neighbor's garage Friday morning.

John Burdick was an 18-year department veteran and father of two. He was discovered dead with a second person in the 8500 block of Lochdale Street. Burdick, 46, was off-duty at the time of his death. The other man, James McEwen, was a resident at the home 

Circumstances surrounding the incident are still unclear, according to police. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and is being conducted by the Michigan State Police. 

"In cases involving our officers, it is a routine practice for our department to turn the investigation over to the Michigan State Police" Chief Lee Gavin said in a release.. "Due to the ongoing investigation, few details have yet been made available."

Burdick began his career with the Dearborn Heights Police Department in 1997, and was recently promoted to the rank of Sergeant on April 29. 

"We are obviously shocked and saddened by Sergeant Burdick's death" Gavin continued. "He was a respected and well-liked member of our department, and will be missed. Burdick was 46 years old, and is survived by his wife and 2 children."

In another release, Mayor Dan Paletko expressed his condolences. 

"I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the untimely death of Sgt. Burdick this morning," Paletko said. "I knew Sgt. Burdick for many years and throughout that time was always impressed by his desire to represent the community and our police department so professionally. 

"He was a dedicated veteran of the department, and a respected, valued and well-liked member of the Dearborn Heights family of employees. John will be missed by all who worked with him. On behalf of both the employees and residents of the City of Dearborn Heights. I offer my sincere condolences, my thoughts and my prayers to his family."

A release said that information regarding the incident will be released by police as details become available.

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