BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — A Michigan landlord has confessed to killing two of his tenants because the couple “liked to party” and kept him awake at night, authorities said last week.
Chad Allan Reed, 53, of Battle Creek, is charged with two counts of open murder, according to Calhoun County court records. He is also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer.
Watch Reed’s arraignment below, courtesy of WOOD in Grand Rapids. Note: The sound begins several seconds into the video.
Reed turned himself in Thursday and admitted to killing Joseph Soule, 34, and Jaclyn Lepird, 31, earlier this month. Family members reported the couple missing Oct. 12, five days after they were last seen alive.
In an added twist, the home Reed, Soule and Lepird shared at 203 Post Ave. burned down early Sunday, MLive.com reported. Battle Creek fire officials said they responded around 4:17 a.m. to the house, where they found the entire front of the structure in flames.
“After a quick knockdown, an offensive attack was established and crews performed interior operations, search and extinguishment,” fire officials said in a statement. “Crews were on scene for over 70 minutes.”
No one was injured in the blaze, which remained under investigation Monday.
Detective Sgt. Joel Case, of the Battle Creek Police Department, told reporters Thursday that it did not take long after the couple was reported missing for investigators to become suspicious that the case was “more than just a typical missing person.”
“Once we, as a detective bureau, started looking into the case itself, there were some things that weren’t quite adding up,” Case said.
Reed, Soule and Lepird had a contentious relationship. The couple lived in the upstairs of Reed’s home on Post Avenue.
“From everybody that we’ve talked to — friends, family — it sounds like they had just an ongoing dispute where they could not get along,” Case said Thursday. "They had arguments about money. They had arguments about you name it. So it was relatively common for him to be complaining to people that he spoke to that he was annoyed by them, didn’t get along with them.
“They liked to party, keep him up late at night. He’d tell other people he’d had another bad night’s sleep (and) he couldn’t sleep because of all the noise that was going on.”
Detectives ultimately received a tip that Reed had confessed to someone that he’d killed the couple and hidden their bodies. A short time later, Reed showed up at the police station.
“Chad indicated that there was originally a verbal altercation between him and Joey,” Case said. "He’s claiming that Joey pulled a knife on him and, in self-defense, he drew a gun and shot and killed Joey.
“After seeing that, Jackie tried running from the residence, at which time he ended up shooting her as well. He also did say that he followed her into the back yard and proceeded to beat and strangle her until she ended up passing away in the back yard.”
Watch Thursday’s news conference below, courtesy of Fox 17 in Grand Rapids.
Reed told investigators he wrapped the bodies in plastic and hid them in the back of his pickup truck, where he left them parked outside his house for a few days.
“As family members, friends started coming over and checking on them, or looking for them, he decided that he needed to move the bodies,” Case said.
Reed moved his truck to an abandoned garage about a block from his home. That is where authorities recovered the bodies Thursday.
According to the Enquirer, the plastic-wrapped bodies were covered with leaves, pine needles and other debris in the bed of Reed’s truck.
© 2020 Cox Media Group