Patrick Alan Vercruysse looked down for most of his arraignment Monday in Eaton County district court. The 43-year-old has been charged with four felonies including open murder in the death of 83- year-old Seth Thompson of Midland.
The retired surgeon had been missing since June 24th. In a press conference earlier in the day, the sheriff said Midland police were led to this residence in Benton Township Saturday which Vercruysse shares with his sister.
Eaton County Sheriff's deputies are assisting in the investigation.
"During the execution of the search warrant, deputies discovered human remains to be believed to be Seth Charles Thompson of Midland.
The sheriff would not say how the man died, or where on the property the body was found, but did say police believe Vercruysse killed Thompson at the doctor's residence in Roxane Township then transported the body here.
Thompson's son David said Vercruysse, who is a convicted felon of various assaults, drugs and fraud charges, had done some roofing work for his father in the past, and believes he held a grudge against him.
"People in prison usually don't blame themselves, they blame others," David Thompson, a retired police officer said Monday. "I believe he held something against my dad for putting him in prison."
Thompson did not elaborate.
In court Monday, the prosecutor asked for bail to be denied.
"He is on parole, and by my count he has 17 felony convictions and 6 misdemeanor convictions," Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Sauter said. "I believe he is a flight risk and a danger to the community."
The judge agreed.
Vercruysse was released from prison in May of last year after serving his minimum sentence. After speaking with the Michigan Department of Corrections, it's the sheriff's opinion Vercruysse should have stayed in prison longer.
"Reading his background, I put him in that [dangerous] category," Sheriff Mike Raines said. "Obviously, if he were still in prison, this homicide would not have happened."
Vercruysse will be back in court at the end of the month. The other charges against him relate to Thompson's stolen vehicle, unlawful entry into the doctor's home, as well as weapons charges.