WALKER, Mich. -- It’s an investigation that’s grabbed attention from the start: a suspicious death turned homicide as the “person of interest” cuts his tether and flees across the state.
Casey Wybenga’s family told FOX 17’s Ann Marie LaFlamme from the start they knew who was responsible for his death and sources are now confirming that Matthew Brunn has confessed to the murder.
Casey Wybenga’s death was initially ruled natural by police, then suspicious, which led to a person of interest and a manhunt ending with an arrest.
“He cut his tether and the scissors he got from Uncle Casey,” the victim’s niece, Rosemarie Gallaspy, said.
At 81 years old and with several serious health complications, it didn’t seem alarming to most when Wybenga was found dead at a Walker motel.
“Granted, he was 81, it wasn`t his time. You don’t take somebody’s time away,” Gallaspy said.
Wybenga’s family said they knew Matthew Brunn was to blame.
“Uncle Casey told me that he was afraid he was going to kill him or do something bad to him,” Gallaspy said.
Sources tell FOX 17 that Brunn, who was on parole, cut his tether and fled to the east side of the state the night before Wybenga’s body was found .
Brunn was caught in Detroit Saturday after being beaten up at a known drug house. Sources say he was spotted there with Wybenga’s vehicle, which was later found burned out in Detroit.
Brunn was brought back to Kent County on Monday and interviewed, and sources tell us he confessed to killing the elderly man, a small amount of justice for the man everyone says lived to help those in need and was best known for Casey’s Restaurant, which was a place where he fed the homeless.
However, details on how and why still remain a question.
“Casey was a saint, a saint,” friend David Newton said. "He’d give you the shirt off his back for you, and all you had to do was ask."
Brunn is now booked in the Kent County Jail where his charges are pending with the Walker Police Department.