Family members of Brenna Machus, a Family Dollar employee reported missing Tuesday morning after a robbery on Monday night, received news that her body was found today in a wooded area in Dearborn, Michigan.
On Tuesday, the body of Joseph Orlando, 20, was found inside the store by co-workers arriving to work, but Brenna was missing although her car was on the parking lot.
Dearborn Mayor, Jack O’Reilly, said that the robber targeted a safe and cash drawer in the store. He further stated that this type of crime was rare for Dearborn and that it has shaken the community.
According to the medical examiner, Orlando died from a gunshot wound to the head. Orlando had only been working for Family Dollar for about a week.
Orlando’s grandmother advised him against working at a 7-Eleven store because she was afraid he might get shot during a robbery, she never imagined he would be killed working at a Family Dollar store.
While the family and community held out hope that Brenna would be found alive, they were devastated when the body recovered from the woods was identified.
“It’s more like a walking nightmare,” her father, Kenneth Machus Jr. said after being notified his 20-year-old daughter’s body had been identified. “That’s the best way for me to describe (it).”
At about 8 am on Thursday morning, a 911 call lead police to a wooded area in the vicinity of northbound Southfield Freeway service drive and Michigan Avenue where the body was found.
Investigators released a video obtained from Family Dollar which revealed a man in a hooded jacket, blue jeans and white sneakers entering the store, his face blocked by the hood. He appeared to make a gesture with his hand to someone as he entered the store.
Crime Stoppers of Michigan is offering a total of $15,000 dollars for information leading to an arrest in the case. Crime Stoppers is offering $2,500 on behalf of each victim and Family Dollar is offering $10,000.
Police are asking the public for information regarding the suspect as they continue to investigate. Two customers in the store that night have been questioned. The store remained closed Today.
Mark Thomas, a manager for Aco Hardware store, reported that one of his employees saw Machus on Monday evening. Thomas further stated that the loud thunder on Monday may have been the reason no one heard a gunshot.
The Aco Hardware store next door to the Family Dollar has added additional security during store hours, according to Kathleen Farr, an employee.
Brad Weclowski, an employee of the Hardware store said he often stopped by the dollar store on break and said Machus was “super friendly.”
“It’s hard to put behind us, being so close,” Weclowski said. “It’s kind of hard to go about your day and not have it on your mind.”
A memorial continues to grow outside the store as people place candles and flowers along the front wall in memory of both Brenna Machus and Joseph Orlando.
By: Veverly Edwards