On Sunday morning, two hunters found a garbage bag in a ditch in Gratiot County in mid-Michigan, north of Lansing.
They cut open the bag and found a dead man inside.
“It’s certainly a homicide, now we are trying to determine who he is and go from there," Gratiot County Sheriff Doug Wright told The Morning Sun newspaper in Mount Pleasant. He did not say how the man was killed.
There was no identification found on the person. So the Gratiot County Sheriff's Office in Ithaca released photos of two unusual tattoos on the body, which an autopsy determined was that of man in his 60s or 70s.
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The deceased had an eagle on his right shoulder and a skull wearing a cowboy hat and handkerchief on his left shoulder. The words "Texas," "Florida" and "Michigan," and links, were inked around the skull, according to MLive.com in Grand Rapids.
Authorities on Monday said the body has since been identified but they are withholding his name pending notification of next of kin.
The gruesome discovery near their own backyards chilled neighbors.
"It's freaky. I was like 'holy cow,'" Jadd McVeigh told WNEM in Bay City, Mich. "That's not even 200 yards away and here they find the body. It's just crazy."
It "was really nerve-racking because I just got back from heart surgery. I was already shook up with that. Kind of scares you because it's just too close to home."
Gratiot County authorities, on their Facebook page, described how the man appeared to have a recent injury to one or more fingers on his left hand because his middle and ring fingers were taped together.
McVeigh said he's on edge until the killer is found.
"We're keeping the house locked," he told the TV station. "We're just gonna watch out, hope that nothing happens."