Friend: Oestrike acted ‘normal’ after crime


WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The man suspected of murdering a couple and their unborn child acted as if nothing was out of ordinary when he called a friend, she said, apparently while he was holding the 18-year-old pregnant woman captive in his home.

Police say Brady Oestrike killed and then decapitated Charlie Oppeenner, 25, in Wyoming’s Gezon Park on the night of July 12. Oppenneer’s body was discovered by Wyoming police officers on July 16.

The 31-year-old Oestrike apparently held Oppenner’s girlfriend Brooke Slocum, who was 8 months pregnant, in his home for about five days. Police say Oestrike strangled her July 17, put her body in the trunk of his car, and then led police on a brief chase before crashing and taking his own life.

Brooke Slocum and Charles Oppenneer (courtesy photos)
(Brooke Slocum and Charles Oppenneer Undated courtesy photos)

Tracy Potter says her friend Oestrike called her July 13. He acted as if nothing was wrong, she said.

“He called with the normal, ‘Hey, chica, how you doing?'” she recalled.

Slocum may have already been in his home at the time of that call.

“I’ve thought about it a lot. His actions and attitude over the phone were no different than normal, and that’s what bothers me,” Potter said.

She said she met Oestrike seven years ago, and that he taught her 11-yaer-old daughter how to shoot a gun.

Potter said she sometimes went to renaissance fairs with Oestrike. He had an interest in the medieval era, friends have told 24 Hour News 8, and had period restraints and weapons in his house. Potter said Oestrike owned his own suit of armor. Authorities say they removed multiple weapons, including both knives and guns, from his home.

Potter said Oestrike had been “seriously depressed” since breaking up with his fiancee.

“He didn’t smile as much, didn’t laugh as much. He said a couple of times he felt worthless,” Potter said.

She wonders if the breakup somehow led to the homicides.

During that phone call July 13, apparently in the midst of his crimes, Potter said she and Oestrike talked about work and made plans for a visit.

She says she can’t explain the killings, or why her friend would decapitate Oppenneer.

Wyoming police say they continue to investigate the deaths, and hope to soon release a more complete timeline of the killings and what led up to them.

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