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Software engineer goes missing from Detroit Yacht Club where he's been a member for years

Posted at 6:14 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 23:31:33-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Divers with Michigan State Police searched the waters near the Detroit Yacht Club Tuesday for any sign of 63-year-old James (Jim) Kuntz who was reported missing Sunday but last seen with friends Friday evening at the club.

Kuntz, a software engineer, is an avid kayaker, and, at first, the Coast Guard reported that he was missing along with his red kayak. But Plymouth Township Police spotted that red kayak in Kuntz's home when a close family friend, Tamra Homicz, contacted them to do a welfare check.

"My husband is like his brother," said Homicz. "They're that close."

The Detroit Yacht Club is on its own island next to Belle Isle and jurisdiction falls under the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

DNR conservation officers are handling the investigation and trying to determine if Kuntz fell into the water.

Homicz said that although Kuntz is an avid kayaker, he would never jump into the water to swim. And she said Kuntz would never go far from his Apple watch that he used to help monitor his heart.

The watch and Kuntz's wallet were reportedly found on his boat. His vehicle was found in the parking lot of the yacht club.

Investigators said they are working with Michigan State Police to try to ping Kuntz's phone.

Homicz said everyone thinks the world of Kuntz because he's so kind and always so helpful. And they just want to find him.

"He deserves this," she said. "It's just one of those things. It's a mystery that we hope can be solved."

If anyone sees any sign of Kuntz near the water, they should call 911. Anyone with any other information that might assist investigators is urged to call DNR dispatch at 1-800-292-7800.