The FBI is investigating a case in Wyoming, Michigan, in which a Craigslist post advertising sex in exchange for money led to the deaths of a pregnant 18 year old, her 25-year-old boyfriend and the suspect in the murders. The police in Wyoming, located approximately five miles from Grand Rapids, were made aware of the crime when the headless body of a man was discovered last Wednesday in Gezon Park.
The body was identified as Charles Oppenneer. As police in Wyoming, Michigan, investigated his murder, they discovered that his eight-months-pregnant girlfriend, Brooke Slocum, who was listed as his last known contact, was missing. On Thursday, the police department issued a news release in which Slocum was identified as a missing person.
As part of their efforts to locate Slocum, police obtained a warrant and searched her computer, on which they discovered an e-mail exchange between Slocum or Oppenneer and Brady Oestrike, 31, who had answered a Craigslist ad posted by one of the murder victims offering sex for money. The e-mails consisted of plans for Oestrike to meet Slocum and Oppenneer at a local park in order to pay them for sex. The park in which the meeting was planned is the park where Oppenneer’s headless body was found.
Police requested a search warrant for Oestrike’s house and were waiting on Thursday for the judge to issue the warrant when they spotted Oestrike leaving his residence in a car and began to follow him. After Oestrike’s car hit a concrete barrier, police discovered him behind the wheel, dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.
While searching the car, police discovered Slocum’s deceased body in the trunk. A later autopsy concluded that the pregnant teen had been strangled. Later, while performing a search at the home of Oestrike, investigators uncovered a stockpile of weapons, including over 40 guns, knives, machetes and other weapons as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition. In addition, items belonging to each of the victims was found in his home.
A friend of Oestrike, Andrew Weener, explained that Oestrike’s interest in medieval times would explain the amount of weapons found, adding that his friend had amassed a collection of items from the medieval period, which included restraints and weapons. James E. Carmody, police chief of Wyoming, sees nothing innocent about Oestrike’s collection, describing the house and its contents as “hellish.”
According to Carmody, during their three-day search of Oestrike’s home, detectives found indications that Slocum had been held captive by Oestrike for days before she was killed. In a press conference, Carmody explained that the Wyoming, Michigan, police, in conjunction with the FBI, are continuing to investigate whether other victims and/or suspects are involved. He revealed that Oestrike was a frequent traveler to states outside of Michigan, and detectives are actively attempting to determine the purpose of those trips.
Wyoming police were familiar with the contents of Oestrike’s home due to a call they had received in May to report that Oestrike had been at a bar boasting about a woman he was holding captive in his basement. Police investigated the report and determined that the woman was there of her own free will and was part of a role-playing game with Oestrike. Because no crime had been committed, police left without taking action, but noted the contents of the basement.
A supervisory special agent of the FBI told CNN that his agency has become involved in the case due to certain facts that have been unearthed as well as “unique characteristics” of the case itself. Oppenneer’s head has not been recovered. Slocum and he had already named their unborn little girl Audi Lynn.
By Jennifer Pfalz