NEW DETAILS: Burned vehicle death now homicide, arson investigation

HILLSDALE COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) — We have an update on a story we first brought you five months ago.

Michigan State Police now say a man that was found dead in a burned vehicle in rural Hillsdale County in January was murdered and the fire was no accident.

While authorities are being tight lipped about what happened, 6 News was able to uncover what the victim was going through just days before his death.

In early January, a man’s body was found inside a burning SUV on Voorheis Road in Somerset Township.

Police launched an investigation and said the death was suspicious.

“You just don’t hear about this stuff out here in the country,” said David Gould, a neighbor who spoke with 6 News in January. “Looks like the perfect spot to get rid of somebody.”

Over the past five months the mystery has been unraveling.

One week after the fire, state police identified the victim as 30-year-old Tyler Herendeen of Jonesville.

Thursday morning, police revealed that Herendeen’s death was a homicide and the fire was the result of arson.

Officials at the Jackson Post of Michigan State Police say this information took five months to be released because they were waiting on tests and investigative details that lead to the ruling of homicide.

However, they wouldn’t provide any more details about how Herendeen died or the circumstances around the arson.

6 News has uncovered an arrest report from the Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Office saying Herendeen was arrested on a felony warrant for heroin possession on January 5.

Six days later, he was found dead in a burning vehicle under suspicious circumstances.

Whether there is any connection between the two is yet to be seen.

An obituary says Herendeen was a Jonesville native that loved the outdoors and was an army veteran who served in Afghanistan.

6 News reached out to Herendeen’s family to get their reaction to the new information.

A family member said they did not want to comment.

If you have any information that could help the investigation, you’re asked to contact the Jackson Post of Michigan State Police at 517-780-4580.

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