Police solve mystery around death of Michigan man found outside friend's home

A Jan. 23, 2019 photo of the Comstock Park driveway where Gregory Gietzen was found dead from apparent exposure to the frigid cold. (WOOD)

A new piece of evidence has helped police solve the mystery surrounding the death of a Michigan man found outside his friend's home.

Gregory Gietzen, last seen alive around 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 when he was leaving a bar in Grand Rapids. Twelve hours later, a neighbor found his body in his friend's driveway.

WOOD reports Sgt. Joel Roon with the Kent County Sheriff's Department said Gietzen had gone out for drinks at a couple of Comstock Park area bars and restaurants with the friend, who eventually left to go home and sleep. Gietzen decided to stay.

Police originally believed Gietzen hitched a ride to his friend's home and they wanted to speak to the driver about how he died. Gietzen was found with facial injuries. 

Now, police say security footage from a nearby home shows Gietzen walked from the restaurant to his friend's house, where he slipped, fell and injured his head, according to WOOD.

The medical examiner concluded Gietzen’s death was accidental and caused by hypothermia. Alcohol and the injury to his head also contributed to his death.

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