Tpr. Albert W. Souden was kidnapped and killed by an ex-convict who was the subject of an investigation.
Trooper Souden had been investigating a robbery near Milford. He had driven to Argentine to check the license number of a vehicle seen in the area. Later that evening, his wife called the post to advise that Trooper Souden had not returned home.
Within minutes of determining Trooper Souden had disappeared, the department mobilized an intensive search. The public response was also immediate. Floods of citizens, sheriff’s deputies, municipal police officers, and members of the Army and National Guard volunteered to join the ground and air search.
The investigation of Trooper Souden’s disappearance led to the arrest of a suspect hiding in a northern Michigan cottage on September 4, 1959. The suspect confessed to kidnapping and murdering the trooper. He stated he met Trooper Souden at the door and got the drop on him. He then took the officer’s gun and forced him to drive his patrol car to a secluded, wooded area. There he shot the officer in the back of the head at close range and buried him in a shallow grave. The suspect later led investigators to Trooper Souden’s makeshift grave.
At his trial in early 1960, the suspect pled guilty to a reduced charge of second degree murder. He was sentenced to 18-25 years in prison.
Trooper Souden was the 22nd MSP officer to die in the line of duty.