ALPENA – What began as a search for a missing teenager in early August has grown into a suspicious death investigation related to multiple people, a second missing person and an armed robbery in recent days.
We know the following so far:
Friends and family named Brynn Bills, 17, from Alpena, a smart, caring, open-minded lover of nature and music.
She was last seen alive in early August. She would have turned 18 on August 12.
The police and the teen’s father, Duane Bills, of Fairview, sought public help in locating the girl from August 27th. Duane Bills offered a $ 20,000 reward for any information that led to the case being disrupted.
Following a lead, police searched a wooded area behind a house in the Alpena community on Naylor Road on September 28 and found Bill’s body, which they identified by tattoos.
Pending the results of an autopsy, police have not yet classified Bill’s death as a homicide but have started a suspicious investigation.
You have several people of interest, but no official suspects.
Check out the video below. View on the phone? Rotate your device horizontally for the best viewing experience. The story continues below the video.
Since Bill’s body was discovered, the public has learned of three suspected criminals, at least two of whom have direct links to the case of teenage Alpena.
Police said all three of the suspected criminals were involved in a robbery in the municipality of Alpena on September 21.
The three are:
∫ Joshua Wirgau, 34, who owns the property on Naylor Road where the police found Bill’s body.
∫ Abby Hill, 31, who was friends with Bills on Facebook.
∫ And Brad Srebnik, 35. It’s unclear whether Srebnik is linked to Bills, other than the fact that Alpena County police and prosecutors are accusing him of participating in the alleged attack with Wirgau and Hill on September 21, too to have.
According to court records, Wirgau is said to have called a man to Naylor Road for a lift on September 21.
When the man got there, police and prosecutors said Wirgau, Hill and Srebnik, all armed with firearms, got into the man’s vehicle and Wirgau aimed a gun at the man’s head, demanding that he bring the trio to Lacomb’s intersection and hook streets, also in Alpena Township.
Then the trio got out of the vehicle.
Little is otherwise known about what supposedly happened that night. Court records do not reveal whether Wirgau, Hill or Srebnik knew their alleged victim, and police refused to add any further details.
Police searched the area near the Lacomb Hook intersection on Wednesday using a police dog and a helicopter, but police refused to confirm whether the search was related to the alleged attack or the death of Bills.
The police arrested Wirgau on September 27 and Srebnik three days later. Both face multiple charges in connection with the alleged assault.
Check out the interactive graphic below. The story continues under the graphic.
THE SECOND MISSING WOMAN
Hill is now missing, the police said.
Wanted on arrest warrants related to the alleged September 21 robbery, police said Tuesday they now consider Hill a missing person who may be at risk. Hill’s family members reported her missing to the police.
Police arrested Hill on September 15 – six days before the alleged attack – with an arrest warrant for failing to attend a trial. They released her the next day, as is customary in such cases.
A timeline of key events in the investigation into Bill’s death:
∫ Early August: invoices are lost. The exact date is not clear. Her father said she was last seen alive on August 1st, although police advised it might not have been until August 3rd.
∫ August 27: Police initially report Bills missing and seek help from the public to find her.
∫ September 21: Wirgau is allegedly holding a man at gunpoint to ask for a lift from Naylor Road to near the intersection of Lacomb and Haken. Hill and Srebnik, also armed, are also in the vehicle.
∫ September 27th: Police arrest Wirgau because of the alleged assault.
∫ September 28: The police find Bill’s body buried on Wirgau’s property on Naylor Road.
∫ September 30th: Police arrest Srebnik.
∫ Tuesday: Police report Hill missing.
∫ Wednesday: Police raided the area near the Lacomb Hook intersection.
Courtesy Photo Brynn Bills of Alpena shows a flower in the camera in this undated photo, taken with the permission of her father Duane Bills of Fairview on Facebook.
Courtesy Photo Abby Hill is featured in this undated Michigan State Police photo.
Get the latest news and more in your inbox
Public and private marinas that are open to the public are encouraged to apply for this Michigan Pumpout Grant Program.