MSP investigating fatal crash in Baraga County linked to missing teen

L’ANSE, Mich. (WZMQ) – The Michigan State Police Calumet Post is investigating a fatal crash connected to a missing person case in Baraga County.

On Thursday, Sept. 22, troopers assisted NMU Public Safety and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community with the search of a missing person, identified as 18-year-old Virgil Mongozid.

NMU Public Safety called the Baraga County Sheriff’s Office to request a well-being check in the Village of L’Anse for Mongozid, as he was allegedly involved in a prior incident investigated by NMU Public Safety the night before.

Calumet troopers made contact with Mongozid’s sister at his address in L’Anse. Officers learned Mongozid had not been seen since 2 a.m. that day.

A search for Mongozid began, but he was not found. A public notice went out for Mongozid and his vehicle, a late 1980s single-cab Ford F-150.

On Sunday, Sept. 25, troopers responded to the area of eastbound US-41 near the entrance to Baraga County Memorial Hospital. Officers found the driver, identified as Mongozid, dead inside the vehicle.

Troopers began an investigation into the fatal crash, which is believed to have happened in the early morning hours of Thursday, Sept. 22.

The investigation is ongoing.

Update: 1:55 p.m.

Northern Michigan University’s president sent an email to students about Mongozid’s death.

The message reads in full:

NMU Students, Faculty and Staff,

I am sad to report that NMU student Virgil Mongozid of Baraga, who was reported missing last Thursday, Sept. 22, has been found deceased, the result of what appears to be a fatal car crash.

Virgil was 18, a freshman majoring in automotive maintenance.

On behalf of Northern, our heartfelt sympathies go out to Virgil’s family, friends and those who knew and interacted with him within the NMU community. The University has not been made aware of any service information at this time.

Any students needing support to deal with Virgil’s passing should reach out to the NMU Counseling and Consultation Center at 906-227-2980 during University business hours or Health Advocate at 800-384-1800 after hours. Any faculty or staff in need of support can contact the Northstar Employee Assistance Program. Other resources are available at nmu.edu/wellbeing

Sincerely,
Dr. Kerri Schuiling