Morning Briefing Sept. 21, 2021: 2 teens killed, 2 hurt in Lenawee County crash; family says missing woman’s body was at Wayne County morgue for months, then cremated

Here are this morning’s top stories

Two 17-year-old boys killed, 2 more hurt when SUV crashes into boulder in Lenawee County

Two teenagers were killed and two others were injured Monday when an SUV traveling at a high speed went off he road and crashed into a boulder in Lenawee County, officials said.

The crash happened at 8:04 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20 on North Adrian Highway, north of M-52 in Franklin Township.

Read the report here.

🚗 Live coverage: Kicking off Motor Bella, Metro Detroit’s new interactive car show

Family finds out missing woman’s body had been at Wayne County morgue for months, then cremated

Natassia Meadows was working on her life, pursuing a GED and staying with her godparents in Romulus away from her past, which involved losing custody of children and bouts with drug use.

In 2019, she was officially listed as a missing person. On Oct. 17, 2019, a body was found inside a home on Appoline Street in Detroit, about 25 miles east of Romulus.

The family said the morgue kept saying it didn’t have the 31-year-old mother. According to Wayne County, her body was cremated in May 2020.

See the story here.

🌊 Flood watch issued for 11 SE Michigan counties through Thursday

3 Howell students charged as adults for pretending to befriend new student, beating him up at skatepark

Three students from Howell Public Schools are being charged as adults after they pretended to befriend a new student so they could lure him to a skatepark and beat him up while recording it for social media, according to officials.

The alleged assault happened Aug. 31 at the Howell Skatepark, which is right next to Howell High School, according to the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office.

Read more here.

Gabby Petito’s boyfriend sought in Florida nature preserve

Authorities renewed their search Tuesday of a swampy preserve area near the home of the boyfriend wanted for questioning in the death of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, whose body was discovered at a Wyoming national park months after the pair set out on a cross-country road trip.

Police in North Port, Florida, said Tuesday morning that investigators have returned to the Carlton Reserve to look for Brian Laundrie, 23.

Investigators searched the 24,000-acre (9,712-hectare) Florida nature preserve over the weekend without success. They focused on the area after Laundrie’s parents told police he may have gone there.

Learn more here.

🏡 Flood prevention: Steps to mitigate your home’s flood risk ahead of heavy rains

Multiple arrested, several weapons found after shots fired through Southfield daycare window

Multiple people were arrested and several weapons were recovered after shots were fired through the window of a Southfield daycare, officials said.

Read the report here.

Amid pandemic, more workers searching for more fulfilling careers

It’s no secret that there has been a nationwide worker shortage amid the pandemic, causing issues for businesses across several industries.

One somewhat surprising reason for the worker shortage: The coronavirus pandemic has caused people to reevaluate their lives. Studies are now showing that many workers are no longer satisfied with just punching a clock and carrying out work that doesn’t feel fulfilling to them.

See more here.

New coach, new QB, same early results for struggling Lions

The Detroit Lions’ new coach and quarterback are off to a start that resembles the team’s previous regimes.

Detroit brought in Dan Campbell to replace the fired Matt Patricia. When longtime quarterback Matthew Stafford wanted out, the Lions sent him to the Los Angeles Rams in a deal that brought Jared Goff as his replacement.

The faces have changed. But the results have been the same thus far for a franchise trying to avoid a fourth straight season with double-digit losses.

The Lions (0-2) opened the season by falling way behind and nearly coming all the way back in a 41-33 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. On Monday night, they led at halftime but fell apart the rest of the way and lost 35-17 to the Green Bay Packers.

Read more here.

Weather: Flood watch issued with torrential downpours possible 🌧️

Here is the weather forecast for Metro Detroit.

COVID in Michigan 🦠

Michigan reported 7,185 new cases of COVID-19 and 35 virus-related deaths Monday -- an average of 2,395 cases over a three-day period.

Of the deaths announced Monday, nine were identified during a review of records.

Monday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 995,910, including 20,700 deaths. These numbers are up from 988,725 cases and 20,665 deaths, as of Friday.

Testing has increased to around 20,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate at 8.75% as of Monday, slightly lower than the previous week. The positive test rate has been steadily climbing since the end of June, when it was at its lowest. Hospitalizations have been steadily increasing for several weeks.

Cases are rising again in Michigan. The state’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 2,772 on Monday -- the highest it has been since early May. The 7-day death average was 22 on Monday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.1%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 69,100 on Monday.

Michigan has reported more than 9.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Monday, with 67.2% of 16+ residents having received at least one dose while 58.4% of 16+ residents are considered fully vaccinated.

Here’s a look at more of the data:

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About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.