Body found in Murray Bay identified

Body found in Murray Bay identified

MUNISING — The body recovered from Murray Bay in Lake Superior has been identified.

The National Park Service says dental records were used to confirm the identity of Richard Blanford of Potterville, MI.

In April, rangers found Blanford’s abandoned vehicle at the Miners Castle overlook parking lot at Pictured Rocks National Shoreline.

Rangers contacted the Potterville Police Department in an attempt to reach Blanford. Police found his house empty with no signs of foul play.

Just over a month later, his body was discovered floating in Murray Bay off Grand Island.

An autopsy of the body was completed two days later on May 18 with no luck of a positive identification.

Rangers reached out to the Potterville Police Department once more. Officers were able to get a search warrant for Blanford’s residence and phone records.

Relatives were found living in Florida and dental records were sent to UP Health Systems-Marquette.

The cause of Blanford’s death is unknown at this time and toxicology results are still pending.

The investigation remains open.