St. Clair Shores man charged in death of girlfriend in MGM hotel

- A St. Clair Shores man was arraigned on charges that he beat a woman to death at the MGM Grand Casino hotel earlier this week.

Daniel Michalak, 33, was charged in connection with the death of Tia Marie Vellucci, 27, of Davison, earlier this week.

"I feel like I am in a bad nightmare that I just can't wake up and get out of," said her mother, Wendy Vellucci.

Vellucci was found murdered on the floor of a hotel room at the MGM Grand Casino on Thursday around 12:45 p.m. According to the Wayne County Prosecutor, Vellucci had multiple stab wounds and had been bitten on her nose.

"I look at my phone every 10 minutes thinking it is a text from her because she would text me all day," Wendy said. "She was my best friend."

Michalak was charged with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to maim and assault, and assault with intent to do great bodily harm. 

"You can't process it," Wendy said. "He was verbally abusive to my daughter. I had her away from him last summer for a full year and he somehow manipulated his way back into our lives."

In court a defense attorney asked that Michalak get a physical and psychological evaluation, but would not say why.

MGM Detroit Grand employees frantically called Detroit police after a man began acting "hysterically, disoriented and making no sense" as he wandered outside of the hotel.

Officers arrived and quickly detained the man while security worked to identify the 33-year-old. It was discovered the man was registered at the hotel. 

Investigators entered the room and that's when they found Vellucci's body.

"No mother should have to bury her child," Wendy said. "I will fight and continue to be an advocate against domestic violence until my last breath."

Vellucci's friends and family have organized a GoFundMe to pay for funeral expenses as well as to support domestic violence shelters in Tia's name. CLICK HERE for more information.

Prosecutors say homicide charges are not off the table, they are waiting for the medical examiner's report. Michalak is expected back in court on June 15.

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