Four days after Joseph Soule, 34, and Jaclyn Lepird, 31, were reported missing on Oct. 12, their landlord, Chad Reed, 53, was arrested and charged with two counts of open murder, Battle Creek Police Department Sgt. Detective Joel Case said at a press conference last Thursday.
The couple was last seen Oct. 7. Both of their families were worried and on Oct. 12, formally reported them missing. Days later. Reed allegedly confessed and said he hid their bodies after killing them.
“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.”
The tenants lived above Reed in the home he owned and said that the couple “liked to party” and “kept him up late at night” police said. “He would tell other people he had another bad night’s sleep and couldn’t sleep because of all the noise going on,” Case said. “It was a bad environment.”
Police say that Reed told them that he and the couple began arguing again on Oct. 7. Police said Reed told them Soule pulled a knife on him and he acted in “self defense,” then he drew a gun and shot and killed Soule.
Lepird “tried running from the residence, at which time he ended up shooting her as well,” Case said.
Cops said that Reed told them he followed her into the backyard and “proceeded to beat and strangle her until she ended up passing away in the backyard,” Case said. Reed then allegedly wrapped their bodies in plastic, put them in the back of his pickup truck, where they remained for a “a couple of days,” according to Case. Reed allegedly told cops that the couple’s friends came looking for them, and at that point he put his truck with the bodies inside in an abandoned garage nearby.
In a bizarre twist, Reed’s home went up in flames Sunday at 4:17 a.m.
“After a quick knockdown, an offensive attack was established and crews performed interior operations, search and extinguishment,” said a statement from the fire department department obtained by MLive. “Crews were on scene for over 70 minutes.”
No one was injured in the fire and the cause at this time is unknown and under investigation.
Reed, who is currently in the Calhoun County Jail, has been denied bond. He was arraigned and requested a court-appointed attorney. He is currently scheduled for a pre-exam conference at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 2 and a preliminary examination at 9 a.m. on Nov. 9, officials said.