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Juvenile Kept Friend’s Body in Room, Police Say

July 31, 1985

KEEGO HARBOR, Mich. (AP) _ A 15-year-old boy apparently was so fearful of reporting his friend’s accidental shooting death that he stowed the body for a week in his attic room, police say.

The 15-year-old’s father found the body while looking for the source of a strong odor, Police Chief William Holloway said Tuesday. He said it was estimated that temperatures in the attic topped 150 degrees on particularly hot days.

The unidentified boy was charged Tuesday with manslaughter and ordered held in Oakland County Children’s Village under a $20,000 cash bond pending a Friday hearing, at which authorities will seek to have him tried as an adult, Holloway said.

An autopsy showed the victim, Mark Brooks, also 15, of Keego Harbor, died of a rifle shot to the head, but investigators believed the death was accidental, Holloway said.

″We don’t feel it was a murder,″ he said.

″It was a horsing around-type thing and the gun discharged,″ Holloway said. ″They were friends. There were no hard feelings between them - none at all. I just think he was afraid to tell.″

Police said Brooks died about 1 a.m. July 22. His body was found Sunday.

Vicki Brooks said her son left home about 10 p.m. July 21, saying he planned to spend the night with a neighborhood friend. He was reported missing July 23.

Billie Brooks said he made daily visits to the house in which his son’s remains were concealed.

Mark had just completed the eighth grade, the father said.

Mark’s friend initially said the youth had run away, and later claimed he committed suicide, Brooks said.

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