Sister after Muskegon couple found dead: ‘Why?’

Muskegon County

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Family members of two people killed in a Muskegon home over the weekend — apparently stabbed to death — say they are desperate for answers. 

Charles Cooper and Linda Martin were discovered in their home on W. Sherman Boulevard near Lincoln Street around 5 a.m. Sunday. Muskegon police say they were 71 and 66 years old, respectively.

Monica Bagley, 39, who lives a few doors down from the victims, was arraigned Monday afternoon on murder charges in the case, prosecutors confirm. Muskegon County Jail records show she was arrested Sunday.

Monica Bagley
Monica Bagley’s mug shot from the Muskegon County Jail.

Family members said they were told the Cooper and Martin, who had lived together for decades, had been stabbed.

Cooper’s sister, Linda Austin, told 24 Hour News 8 Monday that Cooper struggled with health problems, was severely underweight and needed a lung transplant.

She said the last time she talked with her brother, he asked her to become his caretaker.

“I should’ve went. Everybody says, ‘Well … it could’ve been you, too,’” Austin said. “It didn’t matter. He was my brother and he was helpless and so was she. I would’ve tried to stop it. And if I would’ve died, I would’ve died with my brother trying to help him.”

Austin said she and her brother, whom she called Butch, were extremely close, helping each other out when times were tough and even living together for a time. 

“’Come on, Lin,’” she recalled her brother saying. “’Let’s go eat, Lin.’ ‘I don’t have no money, Butch.’ ‘No? Come on, let’s go. I’ll take you to Brann’s or I’ll take you to McDonald’s. They got a new hamburger out.’ I’m going to miss him terrible.”

“He would give the shirt off his back. He was always good to people,” Austin said. “He loved everybody.”

Austin believes she knows Bagley, the suspect.

“You wait till I get in that courtroom. I got something to tell her,” Austin said. “You don’t take somebody’s life and stab them to death. They’re going to die anyways! Why? Why would they, why would you do that?”

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help cover Cooper and Martin’s funeral expenses.

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