Police detail “hellish environment” in Craigslist murders

From left to right: Charles Oppenneer, Brady Oestrike and Brooke Slocum

From left to right: Charles Oppenneer, Brady Oestrike and Brooke Slocum

WYOMING, Mich.,—It’s a murder case that has shaken the Wyoming community and others across West Michigan.

Monday, Wyoming Police held a press conference, and Chief James Carmody began by saying the “details will be disturbing.”

He went on to release how the victims, 25-year-old Charles Oppennneer and his eight-month pregnant girlfriend, 18-year-old Brooke Slocum, died.

Chief Carmody says the cause of Oppenneer’s death is unknown, he says they don’t know what kind of trauma there was because after he was murdered his head was removed and they have not been able to locate it.

Police say Slocum died from strangulation, he says she was killed the same day her body was found in Brady Oestrike’s trunk, nearly five days after Oppenneer was killed.

“Investigators have discovered over 400 different items from the (suspect’s) home, items that include restraints that would indicate the suspect held the victim Brooke Slocum in captivity for a period of time before he murdered her,” Carmody said.

Police confirmed Monday that Oestrike met the victims through Craigslist; he says there was a conversation between Oestrike and Slocum to arrange a meeting for the late hours of July 12 at Gezon Park for sex.

“The conversation also confirms Oppenneer was to be present at the meeting; in the email Oestirke describes where to meet,” and that he would pay for sex.

Chief Carmody called Oestrike’s home a “hellish environment.” Investigators spent several days there, discovering dozens of guns, numerous knives, property of the victims and more police didn’t want to detail due to sensitivity for the families.

Police say the case is far from over and the next step is assessing the items removed from Oestrike’s home.

“The third phase of this investigation is going to involve a lot of work by our investigators in sorting through the hundreds of electronic devices and data storage.”

The FBI is assisting Wyoming PD along with the Michigan State Police’s ‘Internet Crimes Against Children’ Taskforce to work back through a lot of the data recovered.

“We want to be able walk away at the end of the day and say that we’ve covered all of the things we need to cover, and we’re confident that there were no other victims, and also no other suspects as well.”

When asked if there were more victims, Chief Carmody said they don’t know.

“That’s going to be part of the next phase of the investigation, is try to, you know, take a look at the data we’ve collected. Certainly, we’re hoping not, but we’re not closing that door either. Right now, we’re considering all of the possibilities.”

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