WARREN, Mich. (TCD) -- Investigators located a "loving father and football coach" deceased and buried in a rural area five months after his family reported him missing.
In a press release, the Warren Police Department announced James Wilkins' body was discovered in a remote part of Oscoda Township close to an access road. Police described the location as "very desolate and covered with thick brush and trees." A Michigan State Police cadaver dog reportedly found Wilkins' remains.
An autopsy will be conducted Thursday, Nov. 16, to confirm the victim’s identity.
Warren Police investigators reportedly received "credible and reliable information, which ultimately led us to Oscoda Township wherein Wilkins' body was located."
Family and friends reported 27-year-old Wilkins missing to the Warren Police Department on June 9, 2023. The department said he was "missing under suspicious circumstances," which led investigators to immediately suspect foul play.
During the investigation, detectives identified Wilkins' roommate, Donald Renfroe, as a person of interest, and obtained a warrant to search their apartment. While inside, detectives found blood and a patched-up bullet hole. Renfroe allegedly bought cleaning equipment the same day Wilkins disappeared.
According to Warren Police, Renfroe and his friend Darius Glenn allegedly cleaned the apartment and got rid of the body. Renfroe traveled to Ohio, where he was arrested on unrelated charges and transported back to Michigan. He was released on bond while detectives continued to look into the case. They reportedly learned Renfroe owned multiple firearms.
On Aug. 25, Renfroe was arrested again and charged with first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, concealing the death of an individual, and felony firearm possession. Glenn was also taken into custody on charges of tampering with evidence and accessory after the fact to a felony.
Neither Renfroe nor Glenn has a record of prior criminal history.