Police: Man walked into police station, confessed to killing girlfriend
NILES, Mich. -- A Niles man is behind bars for allegedly strangling his girlfriend to death after he went to the local police station Monday morning and confessed.
“At approximately 9:15 [Monday] morning, an individual walked into the lobby of the Niles Police Department and admitted to killing a female in this residence,” said Niles City Police Chief James Millin, standing outside the home at 996 South Fourteenth Street.
“You see stuff going on [in] downtown Niles, but I mean, you don’t really see anything around here,” said Charles Hoch, who lives down the block from the crime scene.
The quiet neighborhood quickly filled with police, crime scene tape and investigators late Monday morning.
The suspect – a man in his early 50s – had walked into the Niles Law Enforcement Complex just up the road with something to tell those at the front desk.
“He said that he committed a crime and wanted to turn himself in,” Chief Millin said. “Certainly, they began running his name, thinking that he was turning himself in on a warrant. And then when they didn’t find a warrant, they had the detectives come out to speak with him, and that’s when we learned of this incident.”
Officers came to the home immediately and found the body of a woman in her early 50s inside.
Police believe she was strangled to death.
“This incident happened Friday evening, we believe,” Chief Millin said. “So the victim has been in there throughout the weekend. And, as you can imagine, is in a state of advanced decomposition.”
Fans were brought in to help investigators comb through the aging crime scene, which stayed active until nearly 6 p.m. Monday evening.
The suspect, currently unnamed, was questioned by detectives and put behind bars on preliminary murder charges.
We will learn his name once he is arraigned on Tuesday afternoon.
Neighbors said the house is a known rental home. They added that the couple moved in maybe two years ago, but never caused any trouble.
“I’ve lived [in this neighborhood] my entire life and I’ve – there are kids playing and what not, we got daycares in the neighborhood and everything,” said Hoch. “Nothing really goes on around here.”
One neighbor said, off camera, that the victim and her boyfriend had been together for 12 years.
That same neighbor said the couple lived a very quiet life, but were struggling financially.
We will learn the victim’s name once an autopsy is completed.