2 teens turn themselves in for vehicle arson
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
TRENTON – The two-week search for Irene Kin, 86, of Trenton ended tragically Feb. 16 when her burning car led authorities to the Riverview Land Preserve, where her body was later found.
Trenton Public Safety Director Steven Voss said the body of Kin, who had been missing since Feb. 1, was found at 5 p.m. Feb. 16 in a different area of the landfill than her car, which was discovered at 3 p.m. by Brownstown Township firefighters in a remote section of the landfill which is located within Brownstown.
Voss said Michigan State Police and the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office conducted the investigation.
“At this time, the medical examiner has indicated that there are no signs of trauma or foul play,” Voss said Feb. 17. “The investigation of the vehicle fire is ongoing. There is evidence to indicate that Mrs. Kin was deceased a short time after she went missing.”
The Michigan State Police arson team is investigating the car fire. Police officers from Riverview, Trenton and Brownstown also helped with the investigation.
Two 14-year-old boys turned themselves into Trenton police, confessing to the arson, and were turned over to other authorities. Voss said that as far as he knew, the boys were not in custody.
Riverview City Manager Doug Drysdale said in a press release Feb. 17 that Kin’s body was found in a remote wooded area behind businesses on Allen Road, on the far western edge of the land preserve, in a restricted area removed from the active landfill.
Drysdale said that the landfill is accessible during operating hours to local residents for recycling dropoff in a clearly marked area, and other sections of the site are restricted by natural barriers and fences. He noted that the 403-acre site is monitored by security personnel, and there have been no previous incidents of this nature at the landfill.
Voss said Kin entered a remote area of the land preserve in her car through an accessible, unblocked entrance, and it is likely she took a wrong turn and ended up on a drivable, frozen dirt road, which was only a few miles from her house. She was found closest to Allen Road.
“It is dense woods through there,” Voss said. “You couldn’t see anything. You couldn’t be seen from Allen Road.”
Voss said there are many foot trails through the woods, but the wooded area is so dense, you would have to break branches and climb over tree trunks to get through the woods. He noted that a person would struggle to get out of the wooded area.
“It appears she almost made it,” Voss said, adding that it has been “a long two weeks.”
While Kin had not been diagnosed with dementia, family members indicated to public safety officials that she had been showing early signs of the condition.
Kin was last seen on surveillance video Feb. 1 leaving Fifth Third Bank, 2040 West Road, Trenton, alone. She was driving a light green 2002 Ford Taurus, which was the burned vehicle found at the landfill.
Kin was the wife of the late Frank, and mother of Barbara (Steve) Barnett and Paul (Debbie) Kin, and the grandmother of Connor. She also leaves behind a niece and nephew and their families in Poland.
Kin’s funeral visitation was Feb. 20 at the Trenton Chapel of the Martenson Family of Funeral Homes, 3200 West Road. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Timothy Catholic Church of Trenton, or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.