In July 2014, 25-year-old Charles Oppenneer and his 18-year-old pregnant girlfriend, Brooke Slocum, arranged to meet a stranger they had connected with on Craigslist. The couple was supposedly soliciting sex, according to The Detroit Free Press.
But the sex-for-cash meet and greet in a Michigan park quickly turned grisly.
The man the couple were meeting, Brady Oestrike, 31, allegedly decapitated Oppenneer and took his 8-month-pregnant girlfriend, Solocum, hostage for several days. Following a high speed pursuit with police, Oestrike shot and killed himself. Police found the strangled body of Slocum in the trunk of the vehicle. Her baby didn’t survive.
Oppenneer’s remains were recovered in Gezon Park, but his skull was never found — until now. On March 26, police discovered Oppenneer’s skull in Kent County. They used dental records to identify the skull, according to Fox News.
"It was just a long, unanswered question and more than anything, we're just happy to report to the family this piece of information so that we can have some closure for them," said James Maguffee, a police captain in Wyoming, Michigan, Fox News reported.
Following the murders, authorities discovered a makeshift torture chamber in Oestrike's house (he was also nicknamed "the Craiglist killer" by media), including a tiny dog kennel where he allegedly imprisoned and abused Slocum before killing her, according to The New York Daily News. Ropes can also be seen dangling from the roof in surveillance footage police recovered from Oestrike’s home.
"This case was especially dark and, frankly, disturbing and saddened all of us that this sort of thing can happen, outside of a fictional setting,” Maguffee added. “And [it] impacted our police officers very deeply. There was a lot of hurt and soul and effort and pain involved in this investigation, and it just really touched us. It did then and it continues to today.”
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