Suspect in teen’s murder had just been released from Mason Co. Jail.

June 8, 2021


Suspect in teen’s murder had just been released from Mason Co. Jail.

MT. PLEASANT — An Isabella County man who was recently bonded out of the Mason County Jail is facing charges for the stabbing death of a Mt. Pleasant teenaged girl. Isiah Gary “Zeke” Gardenhire, 40, of 4173 S. Isabella Rd., Mt. Pleasant, is the main suspect in the stabbing that took place at a residence on South Isabella Road in Isabella County’s Union Township on Sunday. On May 27, 2021, he was arrested May 27 by Mason County Sheriff’s Office on a felony charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct (victim between age 13-17). Bail had been set at 10% of $7,500. A probable cause hearing was scheduled in Mason County District Court Wednesday, June 9 at 11:15 a.m.

Police in Isabella County on Sunday night identified the suspect as Gardenhire.

Wanted on a murder warrant is Isaiah Gary Gardenhire, also known as “Zeke”. 

Investigators from the Michigan State Police Mount Pleasant Post were called at about 3:15 a.m. Sunday to the home for an alleged sexual assault of an adult woman and homicide of a female teen. Union Township is about four miles west of Mount Pleasant.

Gardenhire was taken into police custody early today, Tuesday, June 8, without incident. 

Sgt. Matt Van Lente with Flint Township Police said Gardenhire turned himself in late Monday after he traveled to the Flint area in a stolen Ford Fusion. He said Gardenhire surrendered “politely” shortly after 11 p.m. outside a liquor store, WJRT-TV reported.

The station reported that Gardenhire called WJRT-TV shortly after 10:30 p.m. Monday, saying he wanted to surrender, and the station put him in contact with police, who negotiated his surrender.

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 out of Mason County. He had also been imprisoned for home invasion second degree out of Ingham County and had been convicted in 2000 of assaulting a jail employee/attempting to escape and attempted felonious assault in Isabella County. He was sentenced to three years in prison for each charge.

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