Traverse City News and Events

New Suspect Connected To Suspicious Package Left At TC Bank

By Beth Milligan | Jan. 1, 2021

A tip led the Traverse City Police Department to a new suspect in the case of a suspicious package left at a local bank Wednesday.

Patrol officers went to Riverview Terrace Thursday night to interview a 63-year-old Traverse City man about two over-the-counter medicine boxes with foam cell phones on them that were left in the vestibule of Fifth Third Bank Wednesday. The suspicious boxes prompted an alert to authorities and the Michigan State Police Bomb Squad to be called in to clear the scene. The package was ultimately determined to not be explosive. The TCPD initially identified 32-year-old Joseph Michael Horger as a person of interest in the case; Horger had been arrested in December 2015 when law enforcement received a tip he was making threats to kill police officers and to bomb the Grand Traverse Mall.

The TCPD then received a tip from a caller who said they recognized the items used to create the suspicious package - the medicine boxes and foam cell phones - from the lobby of Riverview Terrace. The caller also recognized the clothing the 62-year-old suspect was wearing in surveillance video screenshots released to the public. Officers interviewed the suspect and recovered the coat, hat, and rubber gloves believed to be worn while placing the boxes in the bank vestibule.

According to the TCPD, Horger is still wanted for absconding parole, but is no longer a person of interest in the suspicious package case. The case will be forwarded to the Grand Traverse County Prosecuting Attorney's Office on Monday for review.

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