WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Police have identified Brady Oestrike, 31, as the suspect in the homicides of Charlie Oppenneer, Oppenneer’s girlfriend Brooke Slocum, and her unborn baby.
Oestrike committed suicide after crashing his car on the Burton Street bridge over US-131 in Grand Rapids Thursday night, police said during a news conference Friday morning.
Wyoming Police Chief James Carmody said investigators do not yet have any idea on the motive in the homicides, but said they did know Oestrike and Slocum, 18, met over the Internet on Craigslist, according to a search of Slocum’s computer.
Carmody wouldn’t release information on how the victims died. He said investigators were working to make sure there were no other victims and that Oestrike acted alone.
The situation began to unfold Thursday after officers requested a warrant to search Oestrike’s home. A tactical team was called to the scene because Oestrike was known to have assault-style weapons, police said.
While officers waited for the warrant, Carmody said Oestrike left his home around 9:15 p.m. in a yellow, 2005 Chevy Cobalt. Uniformed officers were contacted by police at the scene, and Oestrike gave the uniformed officers chase.
The uniformed officers tried to pull Oestrike over, and he stopped briefly on Burton St. SW at Burlingame Ave. SW. However, when officers approached Oestrike’s car, he took off again, police said.
Again, officers followed. The pursuit ended when Oestrike crashed his car into a barrier on the overpass, police said.
Carmody said Friday investigators believe Oestrike fatally shot himself after the crash occurred.
When a SWAT team approached Oestrike’s car Thursday night, they found his body and also discovered Slocum’s body in the trunk.
Oppenneer’s body was found by police in Wyoming’s Gezon Park on Wednesday.
Thursday afternoon, Wyoming police said Slocum, who was 8 months pregnant, was being considered as a missing person. She was last seen Saturday with Oppenneer, and officers were “very concerned” about her whereabouts.
Carmody said some of his officers spent nearly 48 hours in the field on the investigation.
“I have not seen finer police work in my career, that people were so dedicated to finding that young lady,” he said during the news conference Friday.
Greg Slocum, Brooke Slocum’s father, released the following statement on behalf of his family Friday:
“Appreciate all the thoughts and prayers. “My heart goes out to the family of Jessica Heeringa because at least we got closure and I can’t even imagine what they’re going through. At least we got closure. Appreciate all your help.”
Friday afternoon, Wyoming Police Capt. Kim Koster released the following statement:
“I have received numerous questions related to social media posts and random comments on internet sites. As Chief Carmody stated in this morning’s press conference, we will not comment on case facts at this time. This is an on-going investigation and we will release information to you when the timing is appropriate. We are concerned that information being posted could jeopardize our investigation. We are asking that you refrain from speculating and allow us to release information to you in a responsible and factual manner. Please understand that we are committing valuable police resources to this investigation that should not be diverted by the need to address social media rumors and innuendos.”
24 Hour News 8 is working to get more information in the case. Check back with woodtv.com for updates.Tweets by @KenKolker