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WSU student’s body found in pond; no signs of foul play

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Michigan State Police have confirmed a body found in a pond Thursday morning is that of a Wayne State University student who disappeared in late December after walking away from an area bar.

The body of Ken Gruno, 27, was found at about 8:30 a.m. in a pond near a Forest Township home in the 9500 block of Hammil, just outside the nearby town of Otisville in a rural area about 70 miles north of Detroit.

Gruno had been drinking with friends at the Otisville Hotel Bar in the early morning hours of Dec. 27 when he said he was going to step outside for fresh air but never returned.

The Air Force veteran had a credit card with him but left his coat behind. The last glimpse of Gruno was recorded by a security camera that showed him walking down the middle of the street.

“Everyone said he wasn’t upset about anything and was just having a good time and everything,” said his wife, Kelsea Etson, in an earlier interview with The Detroit News.

State police Lt. Ryan Pennel tells The Associated Press there were no signs of foul play.

He added a neighbor spotted the body in the pond, which remains mostly frozen over.

Since the time of his disappearance, friends and family members have joined with law enforcement teams searching for Gruno, checking farms, barns, ditches and fields.

They also set up a “Help Find Ken Gruno” Facebook page. The family posted a $2,500 reward for information on Gruno’s disappearance.

Messages of condolence began to appear on the FB page shortly after news broke of the discovery.

Lori Grogan Daniel: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Kens parents and family in this most tragic and heartbreaking time. We are so sorry for your loss and send our deepest sympathy and condolences.”

Krysten Howard: “Our thoughts are with the family!”

Kris Eisenlord Loveless: “So so sad. Guess closure has finally come...but heartbreaking.”

Michigan State Police and other first responders were at the scene Thursday.

tgreenwood@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2023