88-Year-Old Man Murdered in His Own Home in Kalamazoo

Posted at 11:00 PM, Aug 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-25 03:24:59-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — An 88-year-old man was found murdered in his home Friday night, in the 3100 block of Brookmont Street in Kalamazoo.

The news of the murder was disheartening for those who knew Alfred Minka well. Minka’s son said he was a Latvian immigrant that came to the United States more than 60 years ago. He worked for Eaton Corporation for over 30 years.

Bob Powers has called the quiet Kalamazoo neighborhood home for more than 50 years. He said his neighbor Minka and his family watched he and his brother, Bernie, grow up.

“[Alfred Minka] was a really nice guy,” Bernie Powers said.

“He’d always wave. Anytime he did his hunting trips, we’d go over to his house. We’d go to his garage to see what he caught, whether it was ducks or deer. He was a great guy,” he added.

Friday night around 10:30, Kalamazoo Public Safety received a call that another neighbor went to check on Minka and found him dead in his home on the floor. Powers came home to a massive police presence.

“I was here at about 2:00 in the morning, and I thought he might have had a heart attack. cause he does all of his lawns and stuff like that. He likes to maintain his whole yard,” Powers explained.

Police initially labeled it a suspicious death and didn’t call it a homicide until Saturday. They aren’t saying if there was forced entry or giving much more details on what they’ve learned at this point.

“We have leads. We’re following them up. We continue to follow up,” Lt. David Ostrander, with Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety said.

“Just total disbelief. You just don’t expect that to come from a neighborhood where you’d known everybody here for 50 plus years and nothings ever happened and all of a sudden now it’s come to our neighborhood,” Bernie Powers said.

“He always had a great word. It was a ‘puppa puppa rice,’ and that made everybody laugh, the families, just a great guy! great guy,” Powers remembered.

Anyone with information is asked to call Silent Observer at 269-343-2100.