BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — As the landlord who admitted to killing a Battle Creek couple awaits to be formally charged by a judge, family and friends are remembering the victims.
Police say Chad Reed, a registered sex offender, admitted to killing Joey Soule and Jackie Lepird on Oct. 7 following an altercation at a home on Post Avenue. The couple rented the upstairs unit of the home and Reed lived on the first floor.
Detectives say Reed confessed to shooting Joey, claiming it was done in self-defense after Joey pulled a knife. According to Detective Sgt. Joel Case, Reed said he shot and strangled Jackie in the backyard as she tried to get away.
Officers say Reed then hid their bodies in his truck outside the home for “a couple of days” before moving them to the garage of a nearby vacant home.
Joey’s brother Jimi Soule spent days searching for the missing couple with a group of volunteers before Reed walked into the police station on Thursday and confessed.
“He needs to be locked away forever,” Jimi Soule said.
He’s calling for Reed to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“It’s been real hard. I know it has been real hard for everybody, but I can’t even focus on anything right now. It’s just everything is just too crazy for me,” Jimi Soule said.
He believes his brother was trying to protect Jackie from Reed.
“Just as long as he could be there to protect her, he loved her, and he wanted to protect her and he would do that for anybody that he loved,” Jimi Soule said.
The family has been supporting each other as they grieve.
“He has two children and he loved them so much and they loved him and they’re (inconsolable) right now,” Jimi Soule said.
Jimi Soule says he will miss the time he could have spent with his younger brother and the countless phone calls.
“Joey was the funnest person you would ever be around. He always wanted to have fun. He was playful all the time and he was the most loyal person that you would ever meet. He would do anything for somebody if he cared about them,” Jimi Soule said.
He says Jackie was a very caring person as well.
“She was so sweet, she was. She had the lightest, little sweet voice,” Jimi Soule said. “She was very spiritual and into life.”
The families are making funeral arrangements. The Soule family plans to organize a vigil honoring Jackie and Joey.
Jackie’s family has organized a GoFundMe page for anyone wanting to donate to help with funeral expenses.
Joey’s family has also set up a GoFundMe page for those who wish to donate.
Reed is expected to be formally charged by a Calhoun County judge on Monday.