DETROIT (WJBK) - The search for a missing Detroit man came to a tragic end Monday after his body was found in an abandoned house on the east side.
Police spent the last week searching for 49-year-old Larry Najee Melton. While they had a search party organized for Monday afternoon, they instead got the news they were dreading.
The Melton family gathered on Hollywood on the city's east side, where the family lived years ago. Now they stood near yellow police tape, waiting to find out if the body of a man, found beaten and stuffed under the porch of a burned out, abandoned house, is Melton. He had been missing since March 18.
A man searching for scrap metal discovered the body Monday morning.
"I looked over to my left and I saw a body. It was a black guy, lacerations on his head," said a man who wishes to go by the name T. "I said sir - is you OK? Is you OK? He didn't say nothing, then I looked and I see the blood on the brick and I seen his head cut."
The man had no shirt on, his pants were halfway down, and his body had been stuffed under the porch. The scrapper says he flagged down a police officer.
Word quickly spread that a body had been found in the neighborhood and soon the families of missing men began arriving. One father was looking for his son, his namesake, Arthur Nickens, who had been missing since Wednesday.
But this is not Arthur, it's Melton -- a father and grandfather who worked at a manufacturing plant and has been missing for more than a week.
"It's not just about losing my brother, it's about the community as a whole. We need to get together and figure this out man. We gotta stop this. What's going on in Detroit?" said Ishmael Melton.
Police are now searching for a murderer.
"Obviously someone wanted to cover their tracks. If you can remove it from where the scene where the scene of the crime happened, the thought is you increase your chances of getting away with it," said Detroit Police Captain Steve Walton.