Michigan Murder Suspects Caught

A paroled armed robber and a woman sought in the slayings of a New Baltimore man and his pregnant wife have been arrested with the body of a third person in the pickup truck they were driving, police say.

Patrick Alan Selepak, 27, and Samantha Jean Bachynski, 19, were arrested without incident about 1:15 p.m. EST Tuesday in Owosso, New Baltimore Police Chief John Bolgar said in a statement. Owosso is a farming community about 100 miles west of New Baltimore.

An unidentified man's body was found in the truck driven by Bachynski and Selepak, Bolgar said. Authorities in neighboring Genesee County were working to identify the victim.

A telephone tip led Owosso police to a motel parking lot, where the suspects were arrested, police say.

Selepak and Bachynski were named Monday in warrants charging them with first-degree murder, home invasion, auto theft and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also was seeking warrants for them in the Feb. 13 robbery of a sporting goods store in Genesee County's Flint Township in which two rifles and about $900 were taken, The Flint Journal said.

Selepak is from Macomb County's Chesterfield Township. Bachynski's hometown was reported as either Midland or New Baltimore. Police in New Baltimore and Owosso were unable to clarify the issue early Wednesday.

Selepak was on parole after being released about eight months ago from the Ionia Maximum Correctional Facility after serving 10 years for armed robbery.

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. The body found in the suspects' truck was "wrapped similarly to the New Baltimore incident," Bolgar said.

Melissa Berels was 10 weeks pregnant.

Police are looking for a second man and woman who had some of the Berels' property, Bolgar told The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens.

Investigators do not yet have a motive for the slayings, William Cataldo, head of the homicide unit for the Macomb County prosecutor's office, told The Detroit News. He and Bolgar said there was some kind of connection between the suspects and victims.

"This was not a random act," the police chief said. "They knew each other." He declined to elaborate.

Scott Berels died of asphyxiation and blows to the head, while and Melissa Berels died of strangulation, probably by someone's hands, Macomb County Medical Examiner Dr. Daniel Spitz told the Detroit Free Press.

"His violent death will haunt me the rest of my life," Scott Berels' father, Raymond Berels, told about 300 people Tuesday at the couple's funeral in New Baltimore.

Selepak's mother, Gail Southers of Corinth, Miss., said she was relieved to hear of his arrest.

"I'm happy that he's been caught, that he's in custody and I just hope that he cooperates and I'm glad it's over," she said.

"When he did get out (of prison), he talked to me and told me he did want to do right and apparently it didn't happen," Southers said. "He gave me the impression he was going to change his life for the better."

Bachynski's aunt, Audrey Bachynski of Sterling Heights, said she wondered why her niece got into such deep trouble.

"She needs to get this straightened out and either clear her name or stand up to what she did," Audrey Bachynski said.