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Published: Sunday, 10/25/2009

Roommate sought in fatal shooting of man, 71

HILLSDALE - The Hillsdale County Sheriff's Office is looking for a suspect in the killing of a man whose body was found in his home Saturday with a gunshot wound to the head.

The body of James T. Harper, 71, was found by his girlfriend shortly after 11 a.m. in his Jefferson Township home on East Reading Road.

Deputies said they are looking for Mr. Harper's roommate, James W. McKinney, 49, who is missing from the residence along with all his belongings and the only vehicle owned by the victim.

Mr. Harper took in Mr. McKinney, who was homeless, two years ago.

Deputies consider the death a homicide and describe Mr. McKinney as the prime suspect and the last person to see him alive. They caution that he may be armed and dangerous.

Mr. McKinney is believed to be driving Mr. Harper's 1992 white Chevy Astro van.

He is 5 feet, 3 inches tall, weighs 130 pounds, and has black hair, a thick beard, and blue eyes.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at 800-437-7317. Anyone spotting the suspect or the van should call 911.

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