Man arrested for 'horrific' murder of girlfriend in Downriver apartment
WYANDOTTE, Mich. (FOX 2) - A man is under arrest after his girlfriend was found murdered in a Downriver apartment in what police are calling a "horrific" crime scene.
"She said stop, please stop and that was the last I heard," said Steve Potoczek.
Friends and neighbors recalled the day that 55-year-old Linda Breen was killed in her Wyandotte apartment.
"I would describe this as a horrific crime scene," Wyandotte Police Deputy Chief Archie Hamilton said.
Police said around 2 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, they got a 911 call that neighbors on Sycamore and 12th Street say they heard arguing coming from Apartment 108. Officials found a body inside and blood in the apartment.
"She had two black eyes, her nose looked like it was busted. There was probably 28 one-inch marks on her face, all sliced up. That's how bad it was," Potoczek said.
Police did not divulge the weapon used, but said they arrested her live-in boyfriend, who friends also identify as 38-year-old Chuck Whitman.
"He was sitting on the steps covered in blood or whatever, screaming like, 'I wouldn't do that, I wouldn't do that,'" said neighbor Terry Butler-Tanner.
Neighbors said they've heard the couple arguing often and police have called to the apartment before.
"They would argue from 9 p.m. to sometimes 4, 3 a.m.," said neighbor Zach Brunson.
Friends of the couple said just three weeks ago, she had to be hospitalized for several days.
"Busted her up and tried ripping her eyeball out. And then she came out of the hospital and everything was OK," Brunson said.
Friends said two days later, they had another fight and the police were called again.
"She loved him so she just wanted to get him into the hospital, get treatment like he needs," Brunson said.
Records show Whitman has quite a history with police, with charges including assaulting and resisting police, home invasion, weapons violations, malicious destruction of property and ethnic intimidation. Friends said he's mentally ill and would often make threats to them, as well.
"He said I'm going to torch this whole damn building and everybody is going to die in here," Brunson said.
Friends and neighbors describe Breen, who worked at a diner, as honest, kind and hard-working.
"I can't wrap my head around it. I just don't see what she would've done, she just seemed like a sweet old lady to me," Butler-Tanner said.
Now Wyandotte police, working with prosecutors, are holding Whitman on outstanding warrants. Everyone is sending their love and prayers to her family.
"They deserve justice and that's what we're going to do," Hamilton said.