A St. Charles man and World War II veteran was recently found dead in a ditch in Swan Creek Township.

About noon on Sunday, March 24, Saginaw County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Faber’s Greenhouse, 7010 S. Graham Road. The owner had called to report a truck that was regularly parked there by an elderly man, but the driver was nowhere around, said Undersheriff Mike Gomez.

Deputies searched the area but did find the truck’s owner, 91-year-old Robert L. Mendicki. A Michigan State Police K9 Unit responded to the scene and began tracking Mendicki, eventually locating his body in a water-filled ditch, Gomez said.

There was about a 6-foot drop from the top of the ditch to the water below, Gomez added.

Autopsy results indicated Mendicki died from drowning, Gomez said. He was a trapper and it’s believed he was tracking his traplines when medical issues caused him to fall into the ditch.

According to his obituary, Mendicki served in the U.S. Navy toward the end of World War II and later worked as a riveter at Aerocraft Boat Works in St. Charles.

Cremation has taken placed and no funeral services are scheduled.

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