A 43-year-old man died after a sex party Sept. 20 at the Ferndale Police chaplain's house.
Police Chaplain Rev. Mark Bidwell, who is also the minister at Ferndale's Metropolitan Community Church, called 911 Wednesday morning to report a man at his home had stopped breathing.
"I've got someone who has apparently stopped breathing," Bidwell said.
He said he met the man, Steven Fitch, of Lincoln Park, on a website the night before. Bidwell told police he invited Fitch over to his house for sex and that he didn't know anything about him.
911 dispatcher: "How old is he?"
Bidwell: "Honestly, I don't even know. We just met today."
Police said Fitch brought crystal methamphetamine to Bidwell's home and injected himself. Fitch later died at a hospital.
Bidwell told police that Fitch injected him with the drug as well.
The men had sex and invited a third man over to join the party, police said.
The 911 dispatcher asked Bidwell if Fitch was using any narcotics.
"Um. I don't know," Bidwell told the dispatcher.
Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter said Bidwell is a respected member of the gay community and is involved in the entire Ferndale community.
"This is not the Rev. Bidwell that I or most of us know," Coulter said. "I am shocked and sad and worried for him."
Police said Bidwell has been relieved of his chaplain duties at the Ferndale Police Department.
Police also said there was no evidence to charge Bidwell.
Bidwell did not respond to Local 4's request for comments.