BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — A vigil was held for a murdered Battle Creek couple on Sunday.
About 100 people gathered next to 34-year-old Joseph Soule and 31-year-old Jaclyn Lepird’s home on Post Street and lit candles in their honor.
“I just wanted everybody to come out here,” said Jimi Soule, Joey’s brother. “Nobody loves a crowd like my brother does.”
The couple lived with their landlord, Chad Allan Reed, who police say confessedto the murders.
Reed faces two counts of murder and is awaiting arraignment.
“I looked up to her in every single way, she was the one that taught me how to be a strong woman, no matter what,” said Trinity Middleton, Jaclyn’s sister.
On Sunday the Battle Creek Fire Department responded to the house where the couple lived.
Video from FOX17 Skyview shows the home’s front crumbled and its roof charred.
“It doesn’t end almost,” said Kelli Halder, Jaclyn’s sister. “I mean we’re just still in shock of everything and then it keeps happening.”
“I’m pretty upset about this because what we had left of our sister was in that house and now it’s gone, so the last little pieces of here, just not there anymore,” said Middleton.
The families believe the fire may have been set on purpose, but official say the cause of the fire is unknown and an investigation is underway.
The Battle Creek Police Department says the fire should not impact its criminal investigation into Reed. Crime technicians have already finished gathering evidence from the house.
“We’re just getting through it the best we can,” said Jimi. “It’s really hard.”
“Love each other, hug each other and hold onto people,” said Halder.
Both families have started GoFundMe pages to pay for funeral expenses.
To donate to Joey’s, click here, or click here, to donate to Jackie’s.