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Crime News Breaking News

Two Michigan Inmates Charged In Murders Of Teen Girl, Witness

Brad Srebnik and Joshua Wirgau were charged in connection with the murders of teenager Brynn Bills and their friend Abby Hill. Authorities say Hill and Srebnik killed the girl, and that he and Wirgau subsequently murdered Hill.

By Megan Carpentier
They Died Too Young: Teen Victims of Homicide

Two Michigan men who are in prison for gun possession are now facing charges in the deaths of a teen girl, as well as that of a woman who was apparently a friend of theirs.

Brad Srebnik, 35, and Joshua Wirgau, 35, were charged on Wednesday in connection with the death of Brynn Bills, 17, and Abby Hill, 31, according to a press release from the Michigan Attorney General's office. Police allege that Srebnik, with help from Hill, murdered Bills in August 2021, after which the two men buried her in Wirgau's backyard. They allege that Srebnik and Wirgau then murdered Hill together in September 2021.

Srebnik is charged with two counts of first-degree premeditated homicide, one count of disinterment and mutilation of a dead body, one count of using a firearm in the commissioning of a felony and one count of felony firearm possession. Wirgau is charged with one count of first-degree premeditated homicide, one count of disinterment and mutilation of a dead body, one count of being an accessary after the fact to a felony, one count of felony firearm possession and one count of using a firearm in the commissioning of a felony.

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If convicted of the homicide charges, they both face automatic sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Both are currently serving two years in prison for being felons illegally in possession of firearms, charges to which they pleaded guilty in February and which are connected to the murder cases, according to the Alpena News. Wirgau was previously convicted for the sexual assault of a girl between the ages of 13 and 15, when he was 20, and was registered as a sex offender. He had also been convicted of DUI and marijuana distribution charges.

Srebnik has been convicted of conducting a criminal enterprise, marijuana distribution, accessory to breaking and entering and gun and drug thefts, and was facing domestic violence and other weapons charges at the time of his other arrest, according to the paper.

Police now say that, sometime after midnight on Aug. 2, 2021, Hill picked up Bills (with whom she was Facebook friends) at her home, the Alpena News reported. They believe that Srebnik planned to murder the teen — though they did not specify a motive in the case — and did so shortly after meeting up with the two women.

Police handouts of Brad Srebnik and Joshua Wirgau

Then, he and Wirgau allegedly buried the girl in Wirgau's backyard.

Bills' parents reported her missing the following day; she subsequently missed her 18th birthday on Aug. 12. Police publicized her missing person's case in late August and her father offered a reward in early September, but to no avail.

Hill was arrested on a failure to appear warrant in an unrelated case on Sept. 15 and released the following day.

Wirgau called a tow truck driver he worked with the evening of Sept. 21, and asked for a ride, according to the driver's testimony from an Oct. 21, 2021 court hearing reported on by Alpena News.

The driver thought Wirgau had left his truck at the lot at which he worked and drove over to the house shortly after midnight. However, when he arrived, Wirgau allegedly jumped into the cab of the truck and pointed a handgun at him, while Srebnik and Hill, armed with assault-style rifles and carrying a big black bag, hopped onto the bed of the truck. They demanded the truck driver drop them off at the intersection of Lacomb and Haken Roads, about three miles away.

Wirgau, the driver testified, began crying during the drive.

When the arrived, Wirgau allegedly gave the driver a bag of what he said was cocaine and got out. Srebnik handed him a $100 bill, told him to tell an unnamed woman that he loved her and told the man to drive off. 

Police say that, at some point after that, Hill, Wirgau and Srebnik were staying with friends when Hill got upset at social media comments blaming her for Bills' death.

On Sept. 25, another man allegedly dropped the three off in a remote area of Alpena, where police allege that Wirgau and Srebnik murdered Hill and left her body.

Police arrested Wirgau on charges related to the truck-jacking on Sept. 27 and, acting on a tip, began searching his property with a backhoe on Sept. 28. the paper reported. They recovered Bills' body in the early evening.

They arrest Srebnik on the truck-jacking related charges on Sept. 30. They listed Hill — who was also charged in the truck-jacking — as a missing, possibly endangered person on Oct. 5, the Alpena News reported.

Hill's body was found in a "wooded area" on Oct. 15 — but not, apparently, near Lacomb and Haken Road.

Police sent the cases to prosecutors in December 2021.

Wirgau and Srebnik pleaded to gun possession charges related to the hijacking in February, in exchange for prosecutors dropping the unlawful imprisonment charges in the truck-jacking, the paper reported.

In May, the Michigan attorney general then charged a man, Bruce Kinsey, with interfering in a homicide investigation for allegedly telling police in February that he'd picked Wirgau and Srebnik up on an unspecified night at Lacomb and Haken Roads, the Alpena News reported. They say he actually picked them up more than 10 miles away, near a quarry and concrete factory in Alpena.

Kinsey officially took a plea deal in the case on Tuesday, the paper reported. Wirgau and Srebnik were charged on Wednesday.

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