Oestrike’s ex doesn’t want to see him as a ‘monster’


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The ex-fiancee of a Wyoming man who killed a couple and their unborn child says she’s shocked by what police say Brady Oestrike did.

Oestrike, 31, killed 25-year-old Charles Oppenneer and his 18-year-old girlfriend Brooke Slocum, who was eight months pregnant, before taking his own life one week ago.

Target 8 tracked down Oestrike’s ex-fiancee in Canada. A reporter from a TV station there spoke with her, though she declined to appear on camera and asked that her identity be withheld.

The ex-fiancee said she and Oestrike met 12 years ago at a small Bible school in Michigan. In recent years, they became romantically involved and then got engaged.

“He was my teddy bear. He had mood swings, but who doesn’t?” she said.

She said he was never violent with her.

But they were only engaged a short time before they broke up about a year ago. She said the split was mutual.

“We just wanted to end it before we were five years down the road and getting a divorce,” she said.

She was shocked to learn Oestrike would look for sex on Craigslist.

“Apparently, in the last year, he made some bad choices,” she said

But police say that’s what happened.

According to investigators, Oestrike met up with Oppenneer and Slocum for sex at Wyoming’s Gezon Park on the night of July 12. Police say Oestrike killed and decapitated Oppeenner, leaving his body in a wooded area at the park. He then apparently held Slocum captive for days at his Wyoming home.

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

Wyoming police officers discovered Oppenneer’s body on July 16, though they have still not recovered his head. On July 17, police say, Oestrike strangled Slocum. Slocum’s unborn baby did not survive.

Oestrike then led police on a brief chase that ended when he crashed on Burton Street SW at US-131 in Grand Rapids, at which point he shot and killed himself. Slocum’s body was discovered in the trunk of his car.

“The guy I know and the guy who did this are two different people,” the ex-fiancee said, crying.

She said Wyoming investigators have been in contact with her to learn more about Oestrike.

She said she was trying to avoid news coverage because she wants to remember Oestrike as the man she knew, and “doesn’t want to see him as a monster.”

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