Ronald Ilitch found dead in Troy hotel room

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Ronald Ilitch, son of former Tigers and Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch, was discovered dead in a Troy hotel room.

Ronald Ilitch.

The body of Ilitch, 61, was found at the Detroit Marriott Troy after police received a call around 4 p.m. Friday. Troy police declined further comment, but said the Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office was conducting an autopsy and would release the cause of death later.

“On behalf of my mother Marian Ilitch and our entire family, I want to express our sadness and grief at Ron’s passing,” Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, said of his brother in a statement. “We’re devastated about this loss, and we ask for respect of the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”

Ilitch was, at one point, employed with Ilitch Holdings and scouted locations for new Little Caesars restaurants.

In September 2014, Ilitch pleaded guilty to cocaine possession as part of a plea deal, receiving one year of probation and service in an alternate work force program. He avoided the felony charge.

A month earlier, officers from Detroit Police’s 8th Precinct saw a woman get into Ilitch's Corvette in the area of Six Mile and Grand River near a local hotel about 3:40 p.m. Officers stopped the car because of its tinted windows. Ilitch was then taken to the Detroit Detention Center on Mound Road.

In 2006, Ilitch was arraigned in Oakland Circuit Court on two counts of domestic violence-related assault and battery after his live-in girlfriend said he beat her in their Troy home.

Mike Ilitch, who founded the Little Caesars pizza chain, bought the Tigers in 1992 and died on Feb. 10, 2017, at the age of 87.