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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Three Murders and a Suicide

     In Grand Rapids, Michigan, 18-year-old Brooke Slocum and her boyfriend Charles Oppenneer, 25, were homeless. She was eight months pregnant. The couple frequently exchanged sex for food and a temporary place to stay. They hooked up with Johns through the online service Craigslist. An Internet pay-for-sex arrangement brought them into contact with Brady Oestrike.

     The 31-year-old Oestrike, employed as a lineman for a utility company, resided in a suburb of Grand Rapids called Wyoming. Because he talked about killing people and having bizarre dreams, many of his acquaintances considered him disturbed.

     On Saturday, July 12, 2014, Slocum, Oppenneer and Oestrike engaged in sexual activity at Oestrike's house. At some point that night the utility company lineman stabbed Charles Oppenneer to death and took Slocum prisoner.

     Hikers, on Wednesday July 16, 2014, came upon a headless corpse in nearby Gezon Park. A forensic pathologist identified the remains as Charles Oppenneer.

     The day following the gruesome discovery, Oestrike strangled the pregnant teen to death. He stuffed her body into the truck of his car for later disposal.

     By now homicide detectives had identified Oestrike as a suspect in the murder and missing person case. At nine-fifteen on the night of July 17, 2014, uniformed police officers and investigators rolled up to Oestrike's house in Wyoming armed with a search warrant. The suspect saw them coming, jumped into his car, and drove off.

     Following a brief chase, Oestrike crashed his vehicle into a tree. When officers approached the wrecked car they found Oestrike dead. He had shot himself in the head.

     Inside the dead man's trunk officers found Brooke Slocum's body. Her unborn baby was dead as well.

     A search of Oestrike's house produced several guns, ammunition, swords, knives, and items that belonged to the murdered couple. Mr. Oppenneer's head remained missing.  

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