Body found atop WWJ-TV broadcast tower in metro Detroit


The body of man wearing just a t-shirt and underwear was found at the top of the 1,000-ft tower, leased by Richland Tower to CBS-O&O WWJ-TV Detroit. The tower, a candelabra, has a small elevator inside. CBS recently sold the tower to Richland. It was built new for WWJ in around 1996 at the old WWJ-AM site. The tower also hosts other TV stations, including sister station WKBD-TV (CW) and Granite Broadcasting’s WMYD-TV (MyNetwork), but no FMs.

Maintenance crews made the grim discovery as they worked on the tower in the Detroit suburb of Oak Park, Michigan. It is unclear how the unidentified man, believed to be in his 20s, got to the top of the tower and why he was wearing so little clothes despite the strong winds and freezing temperatures. It could have been there for a week or more since it’s been that long since anyone has worked on the tower.

An autopsy is due to take place that detectives hope will determine how the man died and who he was. They did say, however, that his corpse bore no obvious signs of violence.

Oak Park, MI Public Safety Sergeant Jason Ginopolis told Fox News: ‘Around 12:30 today, we received a phone call from the workers that were working on this tower. They had found a deceased black male at the very top of the tower.’

Oak Park Public Safety Lieutenant Samantha Kretzschmar added: ‘We don’t have any information on who he is at this point. We don’t know how he got up there. It appears as he went up there on his own.’

Because of the precarious position of the cadaver, its recovery was a complicated process, involving three teams from the Oakland County Technical Rescue Team, the Independence Township, Pontiac Fire Department and Southfield Fire Department. The three TV stations went off air while the crews were up there.

Southfield Fire Chief Peter Healy said: ‘It is a high angle body recovery at this point, so technicians have gone up the elevator and climbed up approximately 45 feet to the level that the deceased is at.’

RBR-TVBR observation: Being that far up to the top near the antennas, without the stations being powered down, he could have died from the severe RF exposure. An autopsy may show if that were true.