A Mossbank, Sask., woman says she was shocked to learn her ex-fiancé was the prime suspect in the gruesome deaths of two people in Michigan.
Police believe Brady Oestrike was behind the two killings reported a week ago. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a police chase.
While Oestrike is dead, the Saskatchewan woman who was engaged to him told CBC News she does not want her name released, for safety reasons. She said there is lingering animosity from his family. CBC News agreed to not use her name.
The woman was visibly upset as she remarked on her relationship with Oestrike, which she said never involved any form of violence.
She said they broke off their engagement in 2013, but their relationship had been happy and normal. She said when she knew him, she referred to him as her teddy bear.
She learned, in a phone call from police in Michigan, that Oestrike was connected to a disturbing double homicide.
According to police in Wyoming, Michigan, a pregnant teenager was strangled and her boyfriend was decapitated after apparently connecting with a stranger — believed to be Oestrike — through an online service for a sexual encounter.
The police chief in the Michigan town, about 250 kilometres west of Detroit, said that Brooke Slocum, 18, was held captive before her death. Her body was found July 17 in the trunk of the suspect's car. She was eight months pregnant.
Chief James Carmody said her boyfriend, Charles Oppenneer, 25, was found decapitated in a park a day earlier. His head has not been found.
Emails indicate that Slocum connected with the suspect Oestrike, 31, through an ad on the online service Craigslist and arranged a sexual encounter in which Oppenneer would be present, according to investigators.
Police got a search warrant for Oestrike's home, and he fled. He fatally shot himself after crashing his car, after which police found Slocum's body.
Investigators collected at least 400 items from Oestrike's home, including firearms, ammunition and knives. They also seized a number of electronics items and possessions from both victims.
In Mossbank, Oestrike's former fiancé said she was shocked when police contacted her.
She said their relationship was not working out as they hoped and they simply ended their engagement.
She added that despite the awful details of the crimes, she's mourning the loss of a friend. As she spoke, she broke down and wept, saying it was hard to imagine the man she loved is the man she's viewing as a monster in the news.
From her perspective, she said the man she knew and the man who committed the homicides are like two different people.
Mossbank is about 140 kilometres southwest of Regina.