Barry County Man Charged with One Murder, Suspected of Another

For almost two years, a Delton man has been under investigation for possible connection with a pair of deaths. He has now been formally charged with the murder of one of the victims. There is no statute of limitations for murder in Michigan, so this delay is not a problem. Barry County prosecutors charged Harold Ordway, 43, with the murder of Fred Atchley, and they consider him a suspect in the death of Michael VanBuskirk. The two victims were roommates of Ordway and went missing at about the same time. If Ordway is convicted of his murder charge, he may face spending the rest of his life in prison.

According to reports, in 2011, sheriffs responded to a car accident near Plainwell in Allegan County. They arrested Ordway after ammunition, a gun, and a blood-soaked mattress were found inside of his truck at the scene. Ordway was questioned by police about the mattress, but prosecutors maintain that he was not able to explain the state of the mattress. Because Ordway has a prior felony conviction for assault in a New Mexico case, he was charged at the time for felon in possession of a firearm. Ordway is currently awaiting his sentence for the possession charge, and prosecutors are reportedly pushing for the maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.

Cause of death could not be confirmed

VanBuskirk’s body was found several weeks after he was first reported missing but was apparently so badly decomposed that identification was difficult, and cause of death could not be confirmed. Atchley was never found.

Ordway is being held on $500,000 bond.

The four articles used for this report can be found on,, and

Every felony case requires the services of an experienced and professional Michigan criminal defense attorney. The law firm of The Kronzek Firm PLC offers a premier criminal defense team with decades of trial experience. We regularly handle cases in Barry, Kent, Jackson, Oakland, Midland, and Bay counties along with all counties in the lower peninsula of Michigan.

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