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Crime News

Minnesota Dad Killed Daughter’s Partner Over Suspected Abuse, Police Say

Police say 45-year-old Michael Lee Laflex, 45, shot Bryce Brogle in the back of the head and later buried his body in a makeshift grave.

By Dorian Geiger
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

A Minnesota father is behind bars for allegedly murdering his daughter’s boyfriend and burying him in a makeshift grave after he suspected she was being abused by him.

Michael Lee Laflex, 45, was charged with second-degree murder with intent this week after the body of 23-year-old Bryce Brogle was found by police on Sunday, according to a probable cause statement obtained by Oxygen.com

Officials say Laflex executed Brogle in a storage unit before transporting his body to an undisclosed location, where the Minnesota man’s body was later excavated by authorities.

On Oct. 28, Brogle was reported missing by Laflex’s daughter. She divulged that she hadn’t seen her boyfriend since he went to a storage unit with her father two days prior, charging documents state.

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Upon investigating, law enforcement discovered blood and bleach inside the storage unit. 

On Oct. 30, law enforcement located Brogle’s remains after carrying out a foot search on public land in Crow Wing County. An autopsy later revealed that Brogle died from a gunshot wound to the back of his head, according to Minnesota daily morning newspaper The Brainerd Dispatch.

Authorities now suspect that after fatally shooting Brogle, Laflex used a sled to move his body to the undisclosed burial location.

A police handout of Michael Laflex

A “concerned citizen” allegedly later reported that a relative of Laflex told them that the Minnesota dad had suspected Brogle was abusing his unidentified daughter. The individual also disclosed that Laflex confessed to gunning down Brogle at the storage unit. The family member alleged Brogle told them that he transported his daughter’s boyfriend’s body with a sled. Laflex then allegedly claimed the 23-year-old’s body “would not be found.”

It’s unclear exactly where Laflex allegedly buried Brogle’s remains.

According to the case’s criminal complaint, Laflex called Brogle’s landlord shortly before the deadly incident, inquiring as to whether he had knowledge whether the 23-year-old had ever harmed his daughter. The landlord admitted he’d seen Laflex’s daughter with two black eyes. 

The complaint alleged that Lafex then told the landlord that he “already had the hole dug.”

Under questioning, officials said Laflex provided conflicting statements to detectives regarding Brogle, first telling police an undisclosed law enforcement agency had seized Brogle’s two mobile device. Laflex later changed his story, insisting that he had disposed of the pair of cell phones in a filling station trash receptacle. The two phones were later located by investigators. 

The Brainerd man was booked into a Crow Wing County detention center on Oct. 29. He’s being held on $2 million bail, according to online jail records reviewed by Oxygen.com. A judge ordered Laflex must surrender his passport if he posts bail, per The Brainerd Dispatch report.

Laflex was appointed a public defender this week, however, the Minnesota father stated his intention to hire a private lawyer.

Laflex has a past arrest record. In 2018, the Minnesota parent was charged with criminal conduct. He later pleaded guilty to the charges. The victim in the case was described as "mentally impaired,” The New York Post reported. The case’s trial was later canceled.