Two thrill-seeking teenagers stabbed an adult acquaintance, took a blowtorch to his corpse and threw his severed head into a river, prosecutors said Monday as they charged the pair.
Canton High School senior Jean Pierre Orlewicz, 17, and Alexander James Letkemann, 18, ambushed 26-year-old Daniel Sorenson last Wednesday in a garage owned by Orlewicz's grandfather, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. A tarp had been spread on the floor, she said.
"They lured him in the garage where they prepared a space to kill him," Worthy said at a news conference.
Sorenson, who had worked as a bouncer, was stabbed multiple times in the back, his head was sawed off and his body was wrapped in the tarp, authorities said. Orlewicz and Letkemann burned his hands and feet with a blowtorch, possibly in an effort to conceal his identity, Worthy said.
"They made plans on how they were to clean up the blood," Worthy said. "They made plans on how they were going to dispose of the body."
The teens loaded Sorenson's torso in a pickup truck, dumped it in a cul-de-sac and set it on fire using gasoline. A utility crew found it Thursday morning, police said.
Sorenson's head was found Saturday in the Rouge River.
Victim's history appears unrelated to killing
Sorenson's history as a registered sex offender in Michigan and Illinois and the fact that he may have owed his attackers a small amount of money appear to have had nothing to do with his death, Worthy said.
"We've all seen a lot. We've seen it all," Worthy said of the case's investigators. "Still, a crime like this surprises us all.
"Anytime anyone kills just because they want to, and that's what the evidence seems to suggest here, is bone-chilling. Why anyone would want to do that, especially being 17 years old, it makes us think and ask a lot of questions about our society."
Worthy did not immediately respond to a message seeking more information, including whether the defendants had lawyers.
Orlewicz, of Plymouth, and Letkemann, of Westland, were arraigned Monday in a Romulus courtroom on one count each of first-degree premeditated murder, felony murder and mutilation of a corpse. The murder charges carry mandatory sentences of life in prison. Mutilating a corpse carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.
The investigation is continuing and other people may have been involved, Worthy said.