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Police catch suspects in double-murder, discovered third body in truck

Associated Press Writer

NEW BALTIMORE, Mich.- A drugstore sales receipt for duct tape led police to two suspects in a double-killing and the discovery of a third body in the pickup truck they had been driving, authorities said Wednesday.

The receipt had been left at the New Baltimore home of Scott Berels and his pregnant wife, whose bodies were discovered last week.

Scott Berels, 27, had been beaten and both he and Melissa Berels had been suffocated in what appeared to be a robbery and murder, New Baltimore Police Chief John J. Bolgar said Wednesday. Both were found bound head to toe in plastic wrap and tape and covered with a tarpaulin.

Police traced the duct tape receipt to a local CVS store, which had video surveillance. Bolgar said a tip from someone who saw the video led them to Samantha Jean Bachynski, 19, now charged in the killings.

Bachynski and her fiance, Patrick Alan Selepak, a 27-year-old on parole after serving 10 years for armed robbery, were arrested Tuesday in a motel parking lot in Owosso. In the pickup they were driving, police discovered the third body, believed to be the truck's owner.

Genesee County Undersheriff James Gage would not say how the victim was killed but confirmed that the body was wrapped in plastic similar to the New Baltimore victims. New Baltimore is about 30 miles northeast of Detroit, and Owosso, where the two were arrested, is about 75 miles northwest of there.

Selepak and Bachynski were named Monday in warrants charging them with first-degree murder, home invasion, auto theft and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

No charges had yet been filed in the connection with the third body, but the suspects were being held on the murder warrants and a federal robbery warrant in connection with a sporting goods store holdup, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said. The federal warrant accuses them of taking two rifles and about $900 from the store Feb. 13.

The two are expected to be arraigned Thursday in Macomb County, where both suspects and the Berelses lived.

Melissa Berels had met Selepak at a market where she worked, Bolgar said.

"I believe that it was Melissa's trusting nature ... that welcomed Patrick into their lives," he said.

Selepak was on parole after serving 10 years for armed robbery.

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