Wybenga family speaks out after person of interest arrested

Posted at 11:19 PM, Jan 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-03 23:19:36-05

WYOMING, Mich. — A state wide search for a person of interest in a suspicious West Michigan death is now over as of Saturday afternoon. 29-year-old Matthew Brunn, was wanted by authorities after cutting of his tether while on parole. He is now in police custody.

Brunn is thought to be involved in the death of 81-year-old Casey Wybenga, who was found dead Tuesday in a room at America’s Inn Motel in Walker.

It is still unclear how or even if Brunn was involved in this death. Kent County investigators are looking o talk to him Monday when he returns.

Wybenga’s death was initially ruled as natural, but then called suspicious, only to be labeled a homicide by investigators soon after.

Matthew Brunn, was arrested after he was beat up at a known drug house in Detroit. His injuries described as non-life threatening.  Fox 17 contacted Wybenga's family and told them the news that Brunn was in custody.

“He grabbed me. Gave me a big wet kiss on my cheek and said ‘I love you Rose’. I said, ‘I love you too Uncle Casey’, and I said ‘I'll see you later’, but I’m not going to see him later,” said his niece, Rosemarie Gallapsy.

Rosemarie Gallaspy didn't know that was the very last time she'd speak a word or lay her eyes on her Uncle.

“I hurt from that. I got really close to him,” cried Gallapsy.

Her 81-year-old uncle, Casey Wybenga, was found dead Tuesday at the America’s Best Inn Motel in Walker.

“Tuesday night I didn't sleep all night. I couldn't believe it,” said Gallapsy.

Family says Wybenga was afraid of Brunn given his criminal past, even though he`s known him for years. Wybenga helped him get back on his feet several times. The family says they never thought Brunn would hurt him .

“The law failed my Uncle Casey. My Uncle Casey was fearful of him (Brunn). Where is the supervision here? Granted you are on a GPS tether, but you can cut it off at any given time. Brunn and Casey were gone all day, that wasn't a concern to the state of Michigan’s eyes or anything?”

A question his  great niece, Sheila Shockency, is asking herself.

Brunn was on parole at the time Wybenga went missing and police tell Fox 17, he cut his tether the day before Wybenga was found. Then Brunn was spotted driving Wybenga's car Friday morning in Detroit.

The family says Wybenga’s autopsy is inconclusive, and questions remain.

“If there is no visible injuries or anything, I mean if he had a heart attack he (Brunn) was still the cause of it,” said Gallapsy.

Saturday afternoon Detroit police said Brunn was spotted at a drug house in Detroit where he was beaten. He made it to a nearby Coney Island restaurant where a waiter says she saw Brunn covered in blood and called police.

[chris gautz mdoc spokesperson; phoner “He is in our custody. He is staying in the city over the weekend then on Monday he will be transported to Kent County,” said Chris Gautz, public information officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections.

The family heard the news directly from Fox 17.

“I got goose bumps right away I was so happy,” said Gallapsy.

The family says they still have a lot of unanswered questions about what happened that day to Wybenga.

“I’m grateful he (Brunn) has been caught, but this is just the beginning” said Sheila Shockency.

While Rosemarie and her family already have their mind made up about Brunn, police still only call him a person of interest.

Detroit police said he will return to Kent County Monday for questioning, and has since been treated for his injuries.  He was also found with drugs in Detroit so those charges will be held until everything in Kent County is figured out.