KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Police say a Kalamazoo man arrested this week for his neighbor’s 2013 murder admitted to taking the victim’s bloodied vehicle.
Todd Maneke, 43, was formally charged Tuesday with open murder in the death of 88-year-old Alfred Minka.
Police found Minka’s body inside his Brookmont Drive home on Aug. 23, 2013. Officers found blood on the floor and walls around Minka’s body, as well as in his car, according to court records obtained by 24 Hour News 8 Friday.
DRUG AND MONEY PROBLEMS
In the probable cause document filed the day of Maneke’s arrest, a Kalamazoo detective testified that Maneke later admitted to borrowing Minka’s car to go buy drugs. Police found the victim’s blood on the steering wheel and power window button on the driver’s side.
An earlier search warrant stated the day Minka’s body was found, Maneke was seen driving the victim’s car in places known for crack dealing.
The warrant stated that Maneke admitted to police that he had a crack problem and no job. He told them he had been pawning items to stay afloat. The detective testified that guns Maneke tried to sell to his drug dealer were similar to the ones Minka had in his gun cabinet.
Records showed Maneke also called his crack dealer from the bank where Minka had an account. It’s not clear if he tried to access Minka’s accounts, but the murder victim’s family believed money was missing.
Minka’s family said before his death, Minka said a neighbor had been borrowing money from him without paying him back. Minka told his children he was no longer lending that neighbor money.
Investigators said Maneke’s story about Minka’s death also didn’t add up.
Maneke originally told police his wife went to check on Minka when she got home, saw him on the floor and called out to her husband, who found an unlocked kitchen window and crawled inside. However, police said they found no fingerprints on any of the windows.
According to court documents, a witness said they saw the kitchen window was open just before Maneke’s wife arrived, and they saw Maneke pounding on the back door around the time police believe Minka was killed.
Police also said Maneke’s timeline did not match the time in which they believe Minka was killed based on the condition of the body when they arrived.
The new court documents state Manke’s wife told police she went to check on Minka because her husband was not returning her text messages and she was angry with him for borrowing Minka’s car. When they found him dead, she said she accused Maneke of killing him.
Records show the couple’s stories didn’t line up and that texts sent between the two that night had been deleted from their phones.
KDPS Chief Jeff Hadley told 24 Hour News 8 that Maneke has been the only person of interest in the case since the beginning.
Criminal records obtained by 24 Hour News 8 show Maneke was charged with felony embezzlement from a nonprofit and two counts of felony uttering and publishing the same month as Minka’s murder.
Court documents state Maneke admitted to embezzling from the Kalamazoo Township Firefighter’s fund to support his drug habit.