Man found dead in Macomb Community College vent told family he was trying to escape police

A man told his family he was hiding from police before his body was found inside a vent at Macomb Community College, authorities said.

Jason Thompson, 36, was found in the ventilation system at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts on Center Campus in Clinton Township on Sunday. Thompson was reported missing Nov. 1. 

Campus police say Thompson texted his family a few days before he was reported missing and told them he was on a roof trying to escape police who were chasing him. Thompson had active warrants, though police say there is no indication he was being chased.


Body found in vent at Macomb Community College identified as missing Clinton Township man

The body of a missing Clinton Township man was found Sunday night in a vent at Macomb Community College.

Authorities say he told them he was maybe in an HVAC system on Center Campus. When police learned this, they focused on the Performing Arts building because of its extensive ventilation system but did not find Thompson. They returned to the building Sunday and discovered his body while looking for the source of a foul odor.

"Once you're in, there's no way to turn around. There's no way to turn around, and there's a point where he's traversed enough of its space, and the way that it moves, I don't think you could back up," Macomb College Police Chief William Leavens said.

Thompson died of accidental asphyxiation. 

Leavens said Thompson may have been suffering from mental illness at the time. 

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