Man who jumped from Oakland water tower identified

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Pontiac — A man who fell to his death off a 115-foot tall water tower on the Oakland County government campus Tuesday night has been identified and his death ruled a suicide.

The body of James Wilson, 30, of Southfield was found about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday beneath the tower which is inside a fenced-area north of the Farmer’s Market and west of Telegraph on the county complex, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. An autopsy determined Wilson died of multiple blunt force trauma.

Wilson was the same person who police say walked away Tuesday night from the Common Ground Crisis and Resource Center about a quarter mile away on east side of Telegraph.

Deputies had initially been called out about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday to the Common Ground facility, a 24-hour crisis services agency that helps youths, adults and families.

Wilson had initially asked his mother to take him to Common Ground because he was having suicidal thoughts, but he bolted from the car once at the facility. He had previously been an inpatient at an area hospital after trying to take his own life, a sheriff’s investigation determined.

A county employee checking out a radio transmitter near the tower discovered the body.

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