NEW BALTIMORE, Mich. – A manhunt was under way Monday for two murder suspects after prosecutors in Michigan charged two people with first-degree murder in the deaths of a New Baltimore couple whose bodies were found in their home last week.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is seeking warrants for Bachynski and Selepak in the robbery of a gun store. They are believed to have at least two assault rifles that were taken in the robbery, New Baltimore police said in a statement.
They are accused in the deaths of Scott and Melissa Berels, both 27, whose bodies were found Thursday bound head to toe in plastic wrap and tape and covered with a tarpaulin. Melissa Berels was 10 weeks pregnant.
The Macomb County medical examiner has not yet released autopsy results, but police said the killing likely occurred late Wednesday or early Thursday.
Authorities also are looking for Bachynski's gray, four-door 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, Police Chief John Bolgar said.
Bachynski and Selepak tried to withdraw money from Melissa Berels' bank account Friday in Detroit, Bolgar told The Detroit News. The teller became suspicious and called police when the woman showed Berels' identification, and the suspects fled in the victims' white 1996 Saturn, the chief said.
About 100 family members and friends gathered Sunday at the Life Christian Church in Fair Haven to remember the couple.
"They were the poster children for innocence and friendliness," said the Rev. Sean Shannon, pastor of the church, where the Berelses were members.
"They both were just very sweet people," said Darryl Fisher of Chesterfield Township. He knew the Berelses since their marriage in 2000.
"To say they were involved in drugs or something like that, they would be the very last people on earth to even be considered in something like that," Fisher told The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens. "They didn't even drink. Everyone is just in shock and disbelief."
Scott Berels, the oldest of four children, grew up in Macomb County's Shelby Township and Sterling Heights and graduated from Eisenhower High School, his family said. He met Melissa while both were taking classes at Macomb Community College.
Melissa Berels' family did not want to speak with reporters. Her parents are from Kentucky but now live in St. Clair County.
The families have decided to hold a joint service for the couple Tuesday at Gendernalik Funeral Home in New Baltimore.