Blighted home where Officer O'Rourke was killed still stands - Fox 2 News Headlines

Blighted home where Officer O'Rourke was killed still stands

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WEST BLOOMFIELD TWP., Mich. (WJBK) -

Dozens of bullet holes can still be seen, along with the wooden boards that cover the damage done to this upscale West Bloomfield home.

It was the home in which Officer Patrick O'Rourke was killed in the line of duty Sept. 9, 2012.

Police were in a standoff with a man inside, known identified as Ricky Coley. Crews were ordered to tear into the home to find the man, only to learn he had pulled the trigger on himself and had died by suicide.

Now, more than one year later, the house is gutted and vacant but still stands. It's become an eyesore and a constant reminder of what happened to those people who live in the neighborhood. "The township very sensitive to that fact, and because of it, it's a year later before we're finally take action," supervisor Michele Economou Ureste tells Fox 2's Taryn Asher.

Ureste has filed a lawsuit trying to force Coley's widow, Denise Coley, to take care of the blighted property. Denise Coley still owns the house, but since she has left we're told has nothing has been done to keep it up.

She has not abandoned it. She has simply not responded to the blight concerns. We have worked on this for about a year, so we had to file the motion in circuit court to try to gain some compliance," Ureste adds.

Ureste says the house was just appraised around $160,000, while other homes that surround it are worth more than half a million dollars.

Neighbors tell us off camera they have complained to the township about the toll it's taking on their property values, and about the gawkers that continue to drive by. They say some ever stop to take pictures of the house.

Many may still be curious about what caused Coley to snap. Court records show the couple had financial issues and were in the middle of a messy divorce. Coley's wife accused him of infidelity and emotional abuse as he threatened to take away their 7 -year-old son. She moved out a few months before this happened, but the township says the house is still her responsibility to clean up.

Fox 2 tried to hear from Denise Coley but she did not return phone calls or answer her door. The township wants her to pay to either fix it up or tear it town. If she refuses to take action, the house will likely go into foreclosure with the redemption period up to a year, meaning the blight will still not be fixed for quite some time.

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