Missing Couple Killed in Apartment, Landlord Turns Himself In
After several leads were followed in the 24-plus hours after the reported disappearance of a local couple, one person was been arrested in the case pending arraignment on Friday.
Battle Creek Police Detective Sergeant Joel Case discussed some of the details following the announcement that 34-year-old Joseph Soule and 31-year-old Jaclyn Lepird were initially reported missing on October 7th. Case stated that the couple were initially reported missing on October 12th by friends and family. The department requested information on October 14th from the public.
After several tips, authorities made their way to the apartment the couple shared on Post Avenue. An anonymous tip led investigators there after the landlord confessed to killing Soule and Lepird.
Around mid-day Thursday, the landlord turned himself into authorities and the confession came during questioning.
Authorities say the couple and the landlord, a 53-year-old man, had a long-running dispute over several issues during the residency. The landlord lived on the main floor while the couple lived upstairs.
According to Case, a dispute took place the night of October 7th. The man claimed he had shot and killed Soule in self-defense and shot Lepird while trying to escape. The man then beat and strangled Lepird outside the home.
Authorities recovered the couple's vehicle a block away and learned from the suspect that the two victims were in the back of his pick-up inside of an abandoned garage a few blocks away, wrapped in plastic. Searches for the garage and the Post Avenue home continue at this time.
The man is expected to be arraigned Friday on two counts of open murder in Calhoun County Court. It is the 10th and 11th murder in Calhoun County in 2020.