BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WXMI) -- A landlord charged with murdering two of his tenants appeared in court Monday.
On Oct. 14, Battle Creek Police announced a search for a missing couple in the city, identified as Joseph Soule, 34, and Jaclyn Lepird, 31, who were both last seen on October 7.
On Oct. 15 Battle Creek Police announced the couple's landlord confessed to murdering the pair and hiding their bodies. Watch the WXMI-TV news conference here.
Police said they received a tip that Chad Allan Reed, 53, had confessed to killing the couple. WXMI reports Reed then went to the Battle Creek Police Department and turned himself in.
Police said Reed claims there was an altercation between him and the couple at their residence at 203 Post Ave. on October 7. Reed told police Joseph Soule, 34, pulled a knife on him, and he shot him in self-defense. Reed said after the shot, Jaclyn Lepird, 31, tried to run out of the house. He said he shot her too, then beat and strangled her in the back yard.
"He did also tell us that he ended up wrapping them in plastic and put them in the back of his pickup truck. Sounds like they were actually left there at 203 Post Avenue for maybe a few days. Then as family members and friends started coming over and checking on them or looking for them, he decided that he needed to move the bodies, and he ended up moving his truck, that still had the bodies in it, over to another house in the Post-Addition where he found an abandoned garage. He parked the truck with the bodies inside of it and closed it off," WXMI quotes Battle Creek Police Detective Sergeant Joel Case.
Police said family and friends said there had been ongoing issues between the couple and Reed, including fights about money and noise issues.
The Battle Creek Enquirer reports Reed was arraigned in Calhoun County District Court on two counts of open murder, possession of a firearm by a felon and three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He faces up to life in prison without possibility of parole if convicted. Reed is scheduled to be back in court on November 2.
Battle Creek firefighters responded to a fire at 4:17 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 18, and found the front of the house in which the suspect and victims lived in engulfed in flames. The cause of the fire was under investigation, according to the Enquirer.