PAW PAW, Mich. (WOOD - Authorities in Van Buren County are investigating a homicide after a man was stabbed at a motel late Tuesday night and died Wednesday morning.
The victim has been identified as Trey Yarbrough, 20, from Kalamazoo.
"He was too young to die," Yarbrough's cousin Aquarion Plair said.
The suspect was arrested at a parking lot in Battle Creek after an eight-hour manhunt. Authorities lauded a cooperative effort to bring the suspect into custody in a matter of hours.
That person's identity is being withheld pending arraignment, which could happen Thursday.
The victim was stabbed during an altercation at the Lakeside Inn, 202 W. Michigan Avenue in Paw Paw, authorities said. The victim then called 911 as he ran to the Marathon gas station across the street at around 11:57 p.m.
Officers from the Paw Paw Police Department, Van Buren County Sheriff's Department and Michigan State Police, as well as paramedics, arrived at the gas station.
Police taped off the area as officers dusted for fingerprints and put more than a dozen evidence markers on the ground near the front door, where blood could be seen.
Police told 24 Hour News 8 at the scene that it was a "violent incident."
"Multiple stab wounds. That pretty much says it all," Paw Paw Police Chief Eric Marshall said.
Police would not say Wednesday what led up to the altercation, why Yarbrough was in Paw Paw or what led them to Battle Creek to arrest the suspect.
Authorities have an idea as to a motive in the case, but said Wednesday they were not at liberty to release it. They said the victim and suspect were acquaintances.
The victim does have a criminal past involving a weapons charge and a drug case. Police say drugs may have been a factor.
"Why couldn't you do something other than stab him to death?" Yarbrough's cousin Autum Bush questioned.
Family Wednesday remembered Yarbrough as a funny guy who liked to have good time.
"He was the type of person that'll make you smile when you going through the worst," cousin Raven Williams said.
"I could just imagine him laughing and at that moment when he's getting hurt, that smile going off his face. That's what's hurting me the most," Bush said.
More information about the suspect is expected to be released Thursday.
"[The suspect] took my cousin's life. We're all sad," Bush said. "And now his life is going to be taken. I'm sure his family is going to be sad about it."
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