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Police: Wayne County man buried mother under leaves in backyard

A Wayne County man is charged with killing his 75-year-old mother during an altercation, then burying her in the backyard of the home they shared on Bonnie Castle Road in the Town of Huron.
Huron (WHAM) -- A Wayne County man is charged with killing his 75-year-old mother during an altercation, then burying her in the backyard of the home they shared on Bonnie Castle Road in the Town of Huron.

Dan Burkwit, 50, is also charged with harassing a neighbor who called 911 to report the death.

According to court papers, police have seized his computers and say Burkwit made admissions to a fellow inmate.

“He said he felt bad for what he did to his mom,” says Thomas Walsh II in a five page statement to police. Walsh and Burkwit shared housing at the Wayne County Jail.

Police say on October 21, Burkwit told a neighbor his 75-year-old mother had died suddenly. That neighbor called 911. Police responded to the house both mother and son had shared for years.

“Dan Burkwit led deputies to the body of his mother, which he had placed in a wooden area one mile from the residence,” says Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts. He added that the body was discovered “bound in a blanket and covered with leaves.”

Police say the death occurred during an altercation the day before, but would not elaborate. The statement from the jailhouse informant filled in the details.

“She was telling him he needed to do more around the house,” Walsh told police. “She grabbed onto Dan and he said he jerked away and caused her to go off balance.”

“It all happened so fast,” the statement continues. “He tried to do CPR and heard a crack.”

Police say Marcia Burkwit died of a broken neck. Prosecutors have charged her son with manslaughter.

“We didn’t charge him with murder or that he intentionally killed her,” said Wayne County District Attorney Rick Healy. “We charged that his conduct was reckless. During the altercation she was pushed and fell and died of a broken neck.”

Burkwit is also charged with harassing the neighbor who called 911. There are indications from the jailhouse informant that some of those alleged threats were written down.

“He was worried because some of the ‘creative writing’ on the computer talks about hurting other people,” Walsh told police.

The computer was seized as evidence.

Burkwit repeatedly expressed remorse at his mother’s death. He also expressed fear at going to prison. He is being held without bail.

Dan Burkwit has had some past run-ins with the law. He's been to state prison four times between 1997 and 2009. He has three convictions for driving while intoxicated and a conviction for possession of a forged instrument.
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