Missing Bay City couple, 7-month-old died of exposure, police say

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News
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West Branch — Foul play has been ruled out in the deaths of a Bay City couple and their 7-month-old son whose bodies were discovered last weekend in northern Michigan, Ogemaw County sheriff's officials said Thursday.

The couple died of exposure to cold weather, according to an autopsy conducted Wednesday, Sheriff's Lt. Detective Dave Stahl said.

Amanda Pomeroy, 32, Douglas Dougherty, 35, and their son, Jacob, lived in Bay City and were reported missing Jan. 16. Their bodies were found about 4:20 p.m. Saturday by a snowmobiler on Stoney Ridge Road in Rose Township.

The family was clothed but was not wearing shoes, sheriff's officials said.

The autopsy findings were released as a funeral for the couple and their infant son is being held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. 

The sheriff's department is still awaiting toxicology results from the autopsy to determine if drug use played a role in their deaths, Stahl told The News.

  "It could have been a drug overdose," he said.

Amanda Pomeroy, 32, her 35-year-old boyfriend Douglas Dougherty and their 7-month-old son, Jacob, were found dead Saturday around 4:20 p.m. on Stoney Ridge Road in Rose City outside their disabled pickup truck, which "hung up" on a boulder.

The couple's truck was found disabled in a wooded area on a two-track road, Ogemaw Undersheriff Paul Frechette told The News.

"The truck was hung up on a boulder and it became stuck," Frechette explained, adding that the nearest home or residential area was a "long walk" from where the couple's truck was. What exactly was going on with their thinking is hard for us to know.”

Dougherty's mother, Shirley Dougherty, told WJRT-TV in Flint that the couple had dropped off their 9-year-old daughter at a friend's house. The family became worried when the couple did not contact anyone for days afterward.

Relatives launched a fundraiser to help their family.

"We hope to raise enough to cover the funeral costs so this family doesn't have to worry about that along with their grieving," the organizer wrote on GoFundMe on Sunday. As of Thursday morning, donors had given more than $13,710 to the fund.

The Associated Press contributed.

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