An 83-year-old Midland man missing for more than 3 weeks has been found dead in Eaton County. Seth Thompson's body was found Saturday night in Charlotte and a suspect is in custody.
Patrick Allen Vercruysse , a convicted felon with 17 previous convictions had been released from prison after serving time for fraud charges, has been charged in connection to Thompson's death. Vercruysse was arraigned Monday in the Eaton County courts for Open Murder, Unlawful Driving Away a Motor Vehicle, 1st Degree Home Invasion, Weapons-Firearms Receiving and Concealing, and stolen property. Eaton County police say human remains were found at the home of the suspect's sister after a tip on Saturday.
We spoke with the victim's son, David Thompson, who believes his father may have had some contract work done with the suspect. He says he learned from his brother that his dad had gone to Lansing with the suspect under the guise of an old debt repayment, when instead Vercruysse may have been out for revenge, believing that his dad was somehow responsible for him going to prison for fraud. "Most people who go to prison seldom blame themselves for their actions. They always blame someone else that got them into prison and I believe there was potential for several years back him believing that my dad was the one that got him into prison". Thompson says he has no knowledge of his father actually reporting Vercruysse for any wrongdoing, however.
Thompson says his father was a respected and loved member of the community who was known for his generosity, especially with his patients, sometimes even forgiving their debts. "There were many patients he had where he was more concerned about their comfort than paying the bill," said Thompson. He says he hopes Vercruysse is taken off the streets for good this time. "This man is half my dad's age. He's a predator, a very dangerous man because he had no problem killing someone who did not have much of an ability to resist."
"I'm going to miss my dad," Thompson said. "And part of it is the fact that for 30 years I worked in public safety and to have my dad be a victim of a criminal is something that is very difficult to deal with".
Vercruysse has been jailed, and bond has been denied. A preliminary examination is scheduled for July 25th in the case.