Dearborn Heights off-duty police officer 1 of 2 men found dead in garage Friday

Sgt. John Burdick was 18-year veteran of police department

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. – Local 4 has confirmed that a Dearborn Heights off-duty police officer is one of two men who were found dead in a garage in Dearborn Heights Friday morning. The discovery was made at around 9:20 a.m. in the 8500 block of Lochdale Street, according to police.

Dearborn Heights Police Chief Lee Gavin said there are no clear signs of trauma on the bodies of the two men. He called the circumstances "strange."

Police confirm they're looking at this incident as a possible drug overdose.

Sources told Local 4 that drug paraphernalia was found at the scene.

Because the incident involves an officer, the investigation is being handled by Michigan State Police, who arrived at the scene at around 11:45 a.m. They say this is a homicide investigation, but is not being called criminal.

"In cases involving our officers, it is a routine practice for our department to turn the investigation over to the Michigan State Police," said Gavin.

Dearborn Heights police identified the slain officer as 46-year-old Sgt. John Burdick, an 18-year police department veteran. Authorities said Burdick was off-duty at the time.

Burdick began his career with the Dearborn Heights Police Department in 1997 and was recently promoted to the rank of sergeant April 29, the department said.

"We are obviously shocked and saddened by Sgt. Burdick's death," Gavin said. "He was a respected and well-liked member of our department, and will be missed.

Burdick is survived by his wife and two children, the department said.

A woman who lives in the house was hysterical as she called 911 Friday morning to report finding the two men, one of which was her boyfriend. She said she hadn't seen her boyfriend or the other victim since Thursday night.

Her boyfriend lives only a block away from the garage where he was found dead.

?"I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the untimely death of Sgt. Burdick this morning," Mayor Daniel Paletko said in a statement. "I knew Sgt. Burdick for many years, and throughout that time was always impressed by his desire to represent the community and our police department so professionally. He was a dedicated veteran of the department and a respected, valued and well-liked member of the Dearborn Heights family of employees. John will be missed by all who worked with him. On behalf of both the employees and residents of the city of Dearborn Heights. I offer my sincere condolences, my thoughts and my prayers to his family."

Neighbors said the two victims are very close friends and they were often seen attending neighborhood gatherings together.

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