Media coverage of the recovery of a dead body from lake in Ypsilanti, Mich., took a ghastly turn on Friday when a local television station appeared to accidentally broadcast images of a floating dead body.
Police were searching Ford Lake in Ypsilanti Township for the body of Anthony M. Zellars, a 55-year-old man who had been missing since last Thursday, the Ypsilanti Courier reports. At around 1:30 p.m. Friday, the Washtenaw County Sheriff Dive Response team located a floating dead body that is believed to constitute Zellars’ remains.
On Monday morning, Gawker noted that the Detroit Fox affiliate news station appeared to accidentally broadcast images of Zellars’ floating dead body, seemingly unaware of the footage’s graphic nature. While the body was not overtly displayed, a close viewing of footage shot by Fox 2 News Detroit’s helicopter as it hovered over Ford Lake seemed to show the vague silhouette of a human body.
Local authorities searched Ford Lake Friday after receiving a tip from a witness who believed that they had seen a dead body floating in the water, CBS Detroit reports. Ford Lake is located directly adjacent to the address where Zellars was last seen on Wednesday before his apparent death.
Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Geoff Fox noted that officers were able to visually confirm the existence of the floating dead body upon arriving at Ford Lake. “The body floated up to shore and our search and rescue team searched the area to see if there was anything noteworthy and they didn’t find anything,” Fox told the Courier.
Police acknowledged that they had discovered the body of Zellars, who was officially pronounced dead at the scene, the Courier reports. Sgt. Fox noted that more information about the case will be revealed after an autopsy is performed.
Footage of Fox 2 News Detroit’s accidental broadcast of the floating dead body can be found below. Be warned: the images are graphic in nature.