A Michigan landlord who routinely clashed with tenants he says kept him up at night because they “liked to party” and made a lot of noise has allegedly confessed to murdering them after a blowout, say police.
Chad Reed, 53, of Battle Creek, was arrested on Thursday and charged with two counts of open murder for killing his tenants, Joseph Soule, 34, and Jaclyn Lepird, 31, Battle Creek Police Department Sgt. Detective Joel Case said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Last seen on Oct. 7, the couple’s family members reported them missing on Monday, prompting police to begin investigating their disappearance.
During the ensuing investigation, police received a tip from a source that Reed had allegedly confessed to killing the couple and hiding their bodies, Case said.
Shortly after, Reed came to the police station to turn himself in and confess to detectives, Case said.
Reed allegedly told police that he and the tenants, who lived in an upstairs apartment in his small house at 203 Post Avenue in Battle Creek, often argued.
“From everybody that we’ve talked to…it sounds like they had an ongoing dispute where they could not get along,” Case said. “They had arguments about money, they had arguments about you name it.
“So it was relatively common for him to complain to people that he was annoyed by them, didn’t get along with them,” he said.
The couple, Reed allegedly told them, also “liked to party” and “kept him up late at night,” Case said.
“He would tell other people he had another bad night’s sleep and couldn’t sleep because of all the noise going on,” he said. “It was a bad environment.”
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The tensions in the house reached a boiling point on the evening of Oct. 7.
Reed told police that he and the couple began arguing yet again, only this time he claimed Soule pulled a knife on him, Case said.
Reed told police that “in self-defense, he drew a gun and shot and killed Joey,” Case said.
Lepird “tried running from the residence, at which time he ended up shooting her as well,” Case said.
Reed allegedly told police he followed her into the back yard and “proceeded to beat and strangle her until she ended up passing away in the backyard,” Case said.
Reed allegedly told police he wrapped the couple’s bodies in plastic and put them into the back of his pickup truck.
The bodies remained there for a couple of days, Case said.
But then, “friends came over checking on them,” he said.
That allegedly prompted Reed to drive the truck – with the bodies still inside – to a nearby, abandoned garage and leave it there with the door shut, Case said.
Reed is being held at the Calhoun County Jail.
He has not yet entered a plea. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney who can comment on his behalf.
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