“A living hell,” neighbors respond to homicide investigation, no arrests yet

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MONTCALM COUNTY, Mich. – It’s been two weeks since an elderly man was found shot to death in his lakefront home in Sidney Township.

The daughter of homicide victim, Alan “Dale” Nelson, told FOX 17 that she heard nothing of an arrest, or any further answers, as to who is responsible for the death of her father.

Also Tuesday, Michigan State Police Lakeview Post Commander F/Lt. Kevin Sweeney said no arrests in connection to Nelson’s death have been made, and the investigation is ongoing.

Yet what has changed is the feel of the Nevins Lake neighborhood. Several residents told FOX 17 they are deeply saddened by Nelson’s death, and others say they are looking at their neighborhood differently; some in fear.

For Elmer Gregory, next-door neighbor and long-time friend of Nelson, he said his house of 24 years is no longer a home.

“A living hell, I guess you`d say,” said Gregory. “(Nelson) was a dear friend, a good neighbor; so senseless.”

Since Gregory lost his good friend and neighbor, he said he has not been sleeping in his home.

Tuesday afternoon there was even sadness to the way Gregory raked: cleaning up, for just a few hours each day, after his home was broken into last month, along with Nelson’s house and at least two others’.

“Trashed it,” explained Gregory. “Other than that, I really don`t know what all is missing. I come home for three, four hours and then I leave. I haven`t been hanging around a lot.”

Other neighbors said they are keeping a closer eye out, some even scanning the area by boat. Meanwhile, Sidney Township Supervisor Terry Peterman told FOX 17 the Nevins Lake community is reinstating their Neighborhood Watch group.

But until an arrest in connection to Nelson’s death is made, Gregory said he does not feel right; and he may not ever, after losing this close friend in his neighborhood.

“(Nelson) would watch your house for you,” said Gregory. “There`s nothing the man wouldn`t do for you; probably if you asked for anything, he probably would have given it to you. That`s the type of soul he was: just a great, great human being.”

Investigators ask the public for continued assistance with helping solve these crimes. If anyone has information, contact the MSP Lakeview Post, (989) 352-8444, or call Silent Observer, (866) 774-2345.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

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