HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) -- -
It's taken them six weeks to build their case. And now, OttawaCounty prosecutors think they have enough evidence to send TroyBrake to prison for the killing of four people in their WrightTownship home in late September.
Troy Brake had little to say during his arraignment. Brake, 31,was charged Wednesday morning in the murders of Shar Zimmer, hersons Jeremy and Tyler, and Jeremy's girlfriend Katherine Brown.
Brake is charged with seven crimes, four counts of open murderand three counts of using a firearm to commit a felony.
24 News 8 obtained court documents that outline much of theevidence used to charge Brake. They reveal previously unreleaseddetails.
Shar Zimmer's body was found on the man floor, Tyler's in thebasement. Jeremy and Catherine were found on the second floor.
It wasn't until Jeremy's body was being removed from the housethat investigators found a gunshot wound to his head. They knewthen they were looking a a quadruple homicide.
Shar and Tyler had also been shot. Katherine was beaten todeath. Then the house was set on fire.
The case took a turn in detectives' favor in mid-October.
Grand Rapids police arrested Brake on unrelated charges. Heallegedly raped and beat a prostitute on October 16, and shot a manin early September.
Brake had a handgun on him similar to one described in a flierOttawa County detectives sent out to area police agencies,detailing some of their evidence.
That was enough to get a search warrant of Brake's NewaygoCounty home. During the search another gun belonging to Brake wasfound.
That gun, detectives say, is the same gun used in the WrightTownship murders.
They were able to connect it to the murders through bullets,cartridges and a mouse.
When asked by detectives about spent cartridges from the .40caliber Glock handgun found in the pole barn of his home, Braketold detectives he tried to shoot a mouse.
Those spent cartridges matched ones found in the Zimmerhome.
Brake talked to Ottawa detectives three times about the case,according to the court file. But he hasn't told them much.
According to the affidavit, Brake denies being at the Zimmerresidence on the night of the fire. But he's refused to telldetectives where he was that evening.
Lt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department saidthe case remains open. But there's no evidence right now suggestingother suspects are out there.
24 Hour News 8 went to Brake's father's home in Hesperia and toBrake's home in Grant. No one answered, and Brake's father hung upwhen contacted by phone.
Bob Zimmer, the father of Jeremy and Tyler Zimmer, told 24Hour News 8 "it's a mystery" why Brake may have murderedhis sons and wife.
Brake once lived next door to the Zimmers in Wright Township,but Bob Zimmer said he doesn't believe Brake kept in touch since hemoved away when he was 12.
Matt and Heather Trout now live in the home Brake grew up in.
"They [the Zimmers and Brown] didn't deserve this. They wereyour average rural family, went to church, knew everybody, willingto help out people. Just nice people in general," Matt Trout told24 Hour News 8.
Investigators say they do not know why Brake ended up at theZimmer house the night of the murders, or what may have motivatedhim to allegedly kill the Zimmers and Brown.
"I hope I find out why he did this before I die," said BobZimmer, who for several years has been undergoing dialysis forkidney failure. "If they had put a Bible in front of me, I wouldhave swore he would not have done this."
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, theZimmer family said they are "relieved to learn that there is asuspect in custody and solid evidence linking him to this horribletragedy.
"We are pleased to be closer to some answers and areconfident in the detectives that are handling our case.
"This horrific event has affected an entire community and weare thankful to our family, friends, and neighbors for their loveand support. We pray to God for the strength to get through themonths to come."
Police are investigating a report of a home invasion, but say there are inconsistencies.
A Kalamazoo County sheriff's deputy will not face criminal sexual conduct charges.
A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night for an innocent bystander who was shot and killed in October.