Two people were found dead over the weekend and a 36-year-old Millington man has been charged with their murder.
Friday evening, the body of 45-year-old Peter Brodick Jr. was discovered by Michigan State Police at his home at 9884 Boucher Road in Watertown Township. On Sunday, the body of his stepmother, 55-year-old Wendy Brodick, was found by authorities near a silo in the 3900 block of Millington Road in Millington Township.
Both suffered gunshot wounds.
Saturday morning a suspect, Adam Michael Balcer, was arrested. He was charged Tuesday morning with 17 counts, including two open counts of homicide.
Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene said Balcer rented a residence from the Brodick family, and that the alleged killings were the result of a rent dispute, adding that both homicides occurred Friday morning.
“(Authorities) received information later in the day on Friday, which was immediately acted upon,” Reene said. “The (Michigan State Police) crime lab was involved as well. We then worked together on the search warrants that were going to be executed at two different residences at that point. The first victim was located and then the suspect was apprehended at his house.”
Balcer rented a home about one quarter mile away from 9884 Boucher Road, with Peter Brodick Jr. and Wendy Brodick sharing a home at the Boucher Road address. According to media reports, Wendy Brodick and Peter Brodick Jr.’s father, Peter Brodick Sr., were going through a divorce.
The home at 9884 Boucher is a cottage-style house located within yards of North Lake. The home rented by Balcer is at 9676 Boucher Road.
The Michigan State Police Crime Lab processed the Boucher Road crime scene over the weekend, and in the information-discovery process learned of the location of Wendy Brodick’s body. Since the investigation is ongoing, Reene could not comment on whether she died in Millington Township, or died elsewhere and was taken there postmortem.
The suspected firearm used in the alleged killings has been recovered, Reene said.
Reene gave credit to investigators for gathering information and evidence that led to apprehending the suspect. Balcer was taken into custody Saturday morning by the Michigan State Police Emergency Services Team without incident, he said.
“It was tremendous work by a whole series of investigators, the entire legion that got involved and worked around the clock over the holiday weekend to gather information and ultimately locate the second victim,” Reene said. Reene recognized Lt. Andrew Longuski, head of the Michigan State Police biometrics unit, for gathering information essential to the investigation.
Judge ruled in favor of Wendy Brodick
On March 1, Wendy Brodick filed a complaint in Tuscola County District Court to evict Balcer from the rental property. As a result, Brodick and Balcer were summoned to a district court hearing on the matter scheduled for March 16, but Balcer didn’t show up.
On March 26, District Court Judge Fred Borchard ruled in favor of Brodick – by default since Balcer was a no-show – ruling that she had the right to evict Balcer and reclaim the property at 9676 Boucher Road.
In court documents, Wendy Brodick claimed Balcer hadn’t paid rent, which was due on the first of each month, since December and owed $1,795 in back rent. Rent for the house was $850 per month, and Balcer had signed a lease through June, according to the documents.
Suspect faces 17 felonies
Balcer was arraigned Tuesday in the Tuscola County Courthouse in front of Magistrate Joseph Van Auken. His charges include: Two open counts of homicide (a possible life offense); one count of first-degree home invasion (20-year felony); one count of unlawful imprisonment (15-year felony); three counts of tampering with evidence in a criminal case (10-year felony); three counts of possession of a firearm by a felon (five-year felony); one count of possession of ammunition by a felon (five-year felony); and six counts of felony firearm (possession of a weapon while committing a felony, in this case, a pistol; two-year felony).
At the time of his arrest, Balcer was listed as a probation absconder by the Michigan Department of Corrections. He was convicted in Genesee County of attempted larceny in a building in 2013 and sentenced to three years of probation. On Sept. 17, 2015 Balcer ceased having contact with his probation officer.
Balcer’s next court appearance is a probable cause hearing set for April 16 at 8:15 a.m. He is presently lodged in the Tuscola County Jail on a $2 million cash bond.
This was the first homicide in Tuscola County since July 4, 2013, when 54-year-old James Edward Garcia shot and killed his wife Donnieca Garcia. Later that day, James Garcia was killed in a shootout with police.