CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI – A mysterious odor at Macomb Community College led to a disturbing discovery when a man’s body was found lodged in the facility’s ventilation system. Authorities have now ruled the man’s death as accidental.
Jason Anthony Thompson, 36, of Clinton Township, whose family had reported him missing on November 1, was found deceased inside a ventilation shaft at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts on November 26. Thompson had last been seen by his family on October 25. According to them, Thompson had told them he was evading police on the college campus and had climbed onto the roof of one of the buildings.
Campus police were alerted that Thompson had multiple outstanding arrest warrants and had possibly entered the ventilation system from the building’s roof. Despite an initial search of the roof turning up no signs of access or remains, a foul smell detected in the building on November 26 led to further investigation. Eventually, the smell was traced back to a mechanical room not accessible to the public.
With the assistance of the Michigan State Police Bomb Squad, X-ray equipment, and a small camera, investigators found an inverted body within the vent. Thompson had apparently continued to break through barriers and traverse further into the building’s HVAC system until he was stuck in a narrowed, vertical section of the duct.
The tight space reportedly left Thompson unable to move or use his arms, leading to his suffocation. Thompson’s death was officially declared accidental.