Investigation continues for 34-year-old Filipino found dead in Michigan lake

NILES, ILLINOIS —  On August 3rd, the Leelanau County sheriff’s office received a report of a suspicious vehicle at the MC Shortstop gas station in Maple City, Michigan.

Later that same day, a Leelanau County resident trooper from the Michigan State Police Cadillac post received a report of a missing man from Chicago, Illinois.

The complainant reported that his friend, 34-year-old Gilbert Bartilad Druja, left the Leelanau Rustic Resort in Cedar at approximately 2 am.

Two days later, Druja’s body was found.

“The lake that he was found in was about 2 miles away from that gas station, so why he walked away is still something that we’re investigating. And how he ended up in the lake is what we’re still investigating.”

According to Gilbert’s mother, they were in Paris for vacation when this happened. They immediately flew back to chicago when their eldest son, Paolo, broke to them the news.

Although the cause of death has yet to be determined, reports say that the autopsy showed no sign of assault or trauma, and there is no indication of foul play at this time.

“That is suspected, that there was drowning but we still need to determine the manner of death, which could be, as with any death, it could be accidental, could be intentional, it could be suicide so that is what we are still working on right now.”

The Michigan State police is currently conducting interviews, and will be going through forensic analysis.

On Monday, family and friends laid Gilbert to rest at Maryhill Catholic Cemetery.

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