Toddler found with dead man may have fended for herself for days

TYRONE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A toddler found inside a Kent County home where deputies also discovered a man’s body may have fended for herself for days.

Shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday, authorities were called to a home in the 15000 block of Peach Ridge Avenue NW in Tyrone Township, near Kent City. Inside the home, they found the body of a 49-year-old man and a 2 1/2-year-old girl, according to Sgt. Tom Raymond with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office.

Family members concerned about the man’s well-being contacted police after not hearing from him for several days. It’s unclear how he died.

The toddler had no apparent injuries, but was taken to a Grand Rapids hospital to be evaluated, Raymond said. She has since been turned over to Child Protective Services.

Preliminary reports indicate the man was a family friend of the child who was asked to care for the toddler, according to Raymond.

Monsignor Terrance Stewart said the man attended Holy Family Parish in Sparta and lived at the home where he was found.

He said relatives had been trying to contact the man for a couple days, but their calls went unanswered.  He said it appears the child had been alone for a few days.

“It’s hard to believe and hard to understand,” said Stewart. ” Apparently she went into the refrigerator and got food and so on.  They think that’s what she did.”

Stewart said the man’s parents had lived at the Peach Ridge Avenue home before moving north.

Raymond said there is nothing to indicate any type of criminal activity led to the man’s death, but the investigation is ongoing.

Deputies are withholding the name of the man while they notify all of his relatives.

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