PORTAGE, Mich. — The daughter of a retired oral surgeon who was found murdered in Portage told investigators her father and brother argued over money less than two weeks before his death, according to court documents.
Scott Sterffy is charged with open murder and mutilation of a dead body in the death of his father, Dr. Thomas Aye.
The Portage Department of Public Safety says the murder investigation started when officers were called to a home on Glencove Court for a report of an unresponsive man around 7 p.m. on July 24.
According to court documents, Aye’s daughter was the one who found him. She told investigators that the trauma to her father’s head was so severe she didn’t recognize him.
Aye’s daughter told investigators that her father and Sterffy had been arguing about money. In the documents, the daughter says Sterffy would ask her father for thousands of dollars at a time and her father had recently told her brother that the “constant flow of money was ending.”
She also told investigators that Sterffy suffers from mental health issues including paranoid schizophrenia and blamed his father for having him institutionalized at a state hospital in his 20s.
She said her father was so afraid of her brother that he often slept with a baseball bat near his bed.
According to court documents, Sterffy was frantically knocking on neighbors’ doors on July 24 asking to use the phone. One neighbor let him in, and Sterffy contacted a ride-sharing service to take him to the airport where he bought a ticket to Seattle taking off the next morning. He then went back to the home he shared with his father on Glencove Court.
The morning of July 25, Sterffy was picked up by a ride-sharing service and was transported to the airport. Police in Seattle confirmed Sterffy arrived at the airport around 6:15 p.m.
Sterffy was arrested after he was spotted getting off a bus in Kalamazoo.
At his arraignment on Monday, Sterffy denied killing his father.