2 men charged in Hale murder case

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IOSCO COUNTY (WJRT) - UPDATE: (08/14/17) - How and why? The mystery continues surrounding an Iosco County murder.

It was on Thursday when the body of 72-year-old Roger Knickerbocker was discovered buried on his property in Hale.

One person has been charged with murder, and another man was arraigned Monday in connection with this case.

Christopher Grinnell is now charged with being an accessory after the fact, but police are still not certain as to why and how this murder occurred.

Michigan State Police video of the crime scene shows a freshly-dug grave on the property of Roger Knickerbocker II in Hale. Police went there after a woman was arrested for domestic violence early Thursday morning and complained about being arrested while someone else was getting away with murder.

“As she provided details to the trooper, he listened, not knowing if she was totally honest, or just upset that she was arrested,” said Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser.

The trooper eventually went to the address on Snyder Lane that the woman had talked about and hours later, the body was found.

Twenty-year-old Daniel Olar has been charged with Knickerbocker's murder.

“Our victim and the one suspect have known each other for many years from the Pontiac area,” Kaiser said.

That suspect is Olar.

Knickerbocker has been on the state's Sex Offender Registry since 2000, but Kaiser is not certain if Knickerbocker's past conviction played a role in his death.

“It's always a possibility, we are looking for a motive for this killing, this violent crime, but we don't have that yet,” Kaiser said.

Twenty-four-year-old Christopher Grinnell was charged Monday with being an accessory after the murder.

Police say Grinnell and Olar knew each other when they both lived in Bay City. Grinnell's half-brother lives in the Hale area. Grinnell was on probation for a criminal sexual conduct conviction.

Forensic testing is being done to see how Knickerbocker was murdered, but investigators do say several methods were used.

Knickerbocker was not reported as missing and investigators believe the murder may have occurred earlier this month.

“Neighbors report seeing him two or three weeks ago, that's the last time they saw the victim,” Kaiser said.

Police are still not saying how the woman who told them about the murder knew it had happened.


(08/11/17) - State police say they've found a body in a Hale homicide case, and a 20-year-old Pontiac man has been arrested. Troopers say the victim is a 72-year-old-man.

A tip reportedly led troopers to the Iosco County home where it was found. Investigators say they began digging for evidence after finding a shallow grave there.

Neighbors say the man who lives in the home hasn't been seen in 2 or 3 weeks.

Check back at ABC12.com for updates on this developing story.

(08/10/17) - The discovery of a shallow grave in Iosco County launches a homicide investigation.

Breaking Thursday evening, we've learned Michigan State Police believe the victim is a 72 year old man from Hale.

Two people believed to be suspects are behind bars.

So far, the body has not been discovered, but as crime scene investigators dig they're finding evidence.

Investigators say it's a very tedious process as they mark, photograph and preserve their findings inch-by-inch.

Hale is a very rural area about an hour and 45 minutes north of Flint.

So, what led up to this?

Troopers responded to an unrelated domestic disturbance Wednesday evening.

A woman picked up for outstanding warrants told troopers, "Why am I being hauled in when there are two people getting away with murder?"

When troopers check out her tip it all added up and detectives were called in.

A cadaver dog lead investigators to the spot.

We've also learned that inside the home on the property is evidence of a violent crime scene.

State Police say neighbors haven't seen the man who lives there in 2 or 3 weeks.

A 20 year old man is in the Iosco County Jail.

A second man, already incarcerated, has also been interviewed.

The cause of death and motive is all part of the ongoing investigation.

We'll keep you updated on the dig.

Charges in the case could take several days.

(08/10/17) - A domestic violence investigation has lead state police to a shallow grave in Hale.

A cadaver dog lead investigators to the spot in Iosco County.

Troopers say as all of the dirt is removed from the shallow grave, it is dumped into a screen and filtered for possible bullets, remains or other evidence.

We're told one person is in custody, but not much more information has been revealed.

Stay with ABC12 for updates.

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