Officials identify lost Oakland County hiker found dead in Upper Peninsula wilderness

Gregory Sutherland man dies at Big Island Lake Wilderness area

Big Island Lake Wilderness (DNR)
Big Island Lake Wilderness (DNR)

CLARKSTON, Mich. – Officials have identified a lost Oakland County hiker who was found dead in an Upper Peninsula wilderness after he badly cut his leg and tried to use his belt as a tourniquet.

Negaunee Regional Dispatch officers learned Gregory Sutherland, 29, of Clarkston, was missing around 8:20 p.m. Sunday. Police said he had been camping in the Big Island Lake Wilderness area.

Conservation officers Mike Evink, Mark Zitnik and acting Sgt. Rob Freeborn responded by 10 p.m. with canoes, according to authorities.

"The missing hiker's vehicle was located at Big Island Lake trailhead," Freeborn said. "We portaged into the wilderness and paddled through Big Island Lake, Mid Lake, Coattail Lake and finally, into McInnes Lake, portaging between each lake."           

 Freeborn said Sutherland was found at a campsite on McInnes Lake. He had badly cut his leg in an accident and applied a tourniquet using his belt, authorities said.

Those efforts failed, and Sutherland was dead when the officers arrived, officials said.

Sutherland's body was loaded into a canoe and brought to an ambulance  shortly after 4 a.m. Monday, police said.  Medical examiners said no foul play is suspected.

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