Manhunt for suspect in Isabella County sex assault, homicide

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
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Michigan State Police are asking the public for help as they hunt for a suspect in a sexual assault and the fatal stabbing Sunday of a teen in central Michigan, officials said.


They identified the suspect as Isaiah Gary Gardenhire, who is also known as "Zeke."

Gardenhire, 40, is 6 feet 1 inch tall, weighs 180 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes.

Police said there is an active homicide warrant for his arrest, but offered few details on the crimes. On Monday afternoon, state police said they believed Gardenhire was in Mount Pleasant, driving a stolen, black 2014 Ford Fusion, and residents should lock their doors and notify 911 if they saw him.

Officials said Gardenhire is wanted in connection with an incident at a home on South Isabella Road in Union Township in Isabella County. Investigators from the state police's Mount Pleasant Post were called at about 3:15 a.m. Sunday to the home for an alleged sexual assault and homicide. Union Township is about 160 miles north of Detroit and about 4 miles west of Mount Pleasant.

State police Monday said Gardenhire is a suspect in a sexual assault and homicide that happened in Isabella County.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Gardenhire was discharged from prison Feb. 12, 2020, after serving about four years for a felon possessing a firearm conviction. He was also convicted in 2000 of assaulting a jail employee/attempting to escape and attempted felonious assault. He was sentenced to three years in prison for each charge.

Anyone with information on Gardenhire's whereabouts should call 911, the MICHTIP LINE at (877) 616-4677 or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 422-5245. Tips can be submitted at or

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez

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