SHIAWASSEE COUNTY - The sheriff's office has released the name of the bank robbery suspect that was pursued into a wooded area in Shiawassee County Monday afternoon and later found dead. Michael Willingham, 43, of Flint was found dead in a deer blind shortly after 11 p.m. Monday. The sheriff's office believes Willingham took his own life by hanging.
Sheriff George Braidwood says Willingham had a long criminal history, and had only recently been released from prison.
Willingham was suspected of robbing the PNC bank in Meridian Township earlier that afternoon. Law enforcement pursued his car north through Meridian Township and onto I-69. Willingham's car was forced off the highway east of Perry. Willingham then left the car and ran into a wooded area. He was believed to have had a handgun.
Willingham was tracked to a deer blind. A negotiator was brought in, but the sheriff says the negotiator was unable to make contact the man. After 8 hours a Michigan State Police Emergency Services squad entered the blind and found Willingham's body. Sheriff Braidwood says they did locate a gun in the blind.