Michigan doctor found dead in frozen pond remembers being ‘a great guy in every way’

The Michigan psychiatrist who was found dead in a frozen pond near his home after his disappearance has been remembered as a friendly neighbor and a “super versatile guy”.

Dr. Bolek Payan, 32, was found Tuesday behind his home in Leoni Township, where he lived alone in Jackson County.

Her body was discovered five days after her family reported her missing while visiting Illinois over the Christmas holidays, MLive.com reported.

Friends and neighbor Jenny Fordyce said the doctor was an only child who grew up in Chicago before recently moving to Michigan.

“He moved here last winter so we didn’t get to know him for long, but he was just a great guy,” Fordyce told the outlet.

“He left a Christmas card a few days before he disappeared. It’s so unreal to know he’s gone,” she added.

The body of Dr. Bolek Payan was found Tuesday in a pond under the ice near his home.
Facebook/Blackman-Leoni Public S

The neighbor recounted the time during the summer when Payan asked him for help after buying a lawn mower.

“I don’t think he used a big lawnmower much in Chicago, so (my husband and I) were more than happy to help him out,” Fordyce told MLive.

Payan, a 2017 graduate of Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, was board-certified in psychiatry and had worked for Henry Ford Jackson Hospital’s Office of Behavioral Health since 2020.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr Bolek Payan. Our thoughts, prayers and deep sympathy go out to his family, friends and colleagues. “Henry Ford Health System told the outlet in a statement.

Payan’s family reported him missing after he was last seen on December 22 as he left Henry Ford Jackson Hospital. Authorities checked his home and surrounding properties with police dogs and a drone, but found nothing.

Site where Dr. Bolek Payan's body was found
Her body was found five days after her family reported her missing while visiting Illinois over the Christmas holidays.
Youtube / WLNS 6

On Monday, police gained access to his home’s CCTV system which showed him leaving the premises on December 22.

Divers located his body after drilling holes in the ice of the pond, officials said. His body was discovered under the ice.

The cause of death has not yet been determined and the incident is still under investigation. The Jackson County Medical Examiner’s Office is still conducting an autopsy, police said.

“Detectives believe Dr. Payan would have died prior to his disappearance, due to the weather conditions the day he left his residence and the fact that he was in the water,” Blackman-Leoni told Public Safety.

The doctor’s family declined to comment on MLive on Wednesday and asked for confidentiality during a difficult time.

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