AURELIUS TWP, MICH. - Human remains found last month in the Grand River belong to Leon Ward Lockwood, officials confirmed today.
The finding represents the third time someone has located part of Lockwood’s body in an area waterway.
Lockwood, a then-28-year-old Charlotte resident, was reported missing in March 2005.
The investigation into Lockwood's death remains open, said Greg Harris, a lieutenant with the Ingham County Sheriff's Office. He said it's not clear whether all of Lockwood's bones have been recovered. His remains were identified through DNA testing.
He declined to say how large the latest "container" of bones was, citing the open investigation.
Three months after Lockwood went missing, Ingham County Health Department workers found a “bag” of body parts in the Red Cedar River, near Webberville.
A second bag was discovered submerged a day later.
In April 2006, two men in a canoe found Lockwood’s skull partially buried in mud along the bank of the Grand River, about 30 miles from the first location.
Last month, people found what appeared to be a human bone while pulling debris from the Grand River near the McNamara Canoe Landing, about eight miles west of Mason.
The landing is roughly two miles upstream of the spot where Lockwood’s skull was found.
The Capital Area Dive Team responded and found a submerged container with additional human remains, officials said last month.
Lockwood’s murder remains unsolved.
Federal court records, however, indicate officials believe Lockwood was the leader of an organization heavily involved in growing and selling marijuana.
Hundreds of plants were seized as part of the investigation, which involved houses and warehouses “throughout the Lansing area,” according to the records.
At least six people later pleaded guilty to federal crimes in connection with the operation, which had been growing marijuana since 2002, federal prosecutors said. Some of the charges involved conspiracy to manufacture more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.
A forensic analysis of Lockwood’s skull found a bullet hole that appeared to come from a “large caliber gun,” according to court records.
Lockwood’s stepfather, Jim Cash, was a well-known screenwriter and adjunct assistant professor at Michigan State University. Cash, who died in 2000 at the age of 59, had a role in writing movies such as “Top Gun” and “Turner & Hooch.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ingham County Sheriff's Office at 517-676-8251.
© 2017, Lansing State Journal