Traverse City Record-Eagle


July 18, 2013

Mom begs for help in finding missing woman

DEARBORN (AP) — Friends and relatives of a missing Detroit-area woman made a tearful appeal to the public Wednesday for information about their “shining star,” two days after the 20-year-old was abducted from a discount store and a co-worker was fatally shot.

Dearborn police also urged the public to step forward with any tips about the suspect, a man in dark clothes and a hood over his head who waved as he entered a Family Dollar store Monday night.

The body of a new employee, Joseph Orlando, 20, was discovered shot to death Tuesday morning, while assistant manager Brenna Machus remains missing. The motive was unknown.

“We believe she was abducted, absolutely,” Police Chief Ron Haddad told The Associated Press.

Earlier, at a news conference, he said: “We as a community will never tolerate such a violent crime.”

The face of the suspect can’t be seen from the store’s surveillance video, but Haddad hopes someone recognizes his walk or his clothing.

The man is waving on the video, although Haddad said he doesn’t know if the victims knew him.

“You typically say hello to somebody if they’re in eyesight. I can’t make much more of it than that,” the chief said of the wave.

Machus’ mother, Lisa Machus, said she just wants her daughter back — “no questions asked.”

“Brenna is a shining star. She’s loved by many,” Lisa Machus said. “If there’s someone out there that has her, drop her off at a hospital. Let us know. We will come get her.”

Jennifer Forte urged the public to call Crime Stoppers of Michigan, which is offering a reward. “Please find my best friend,” she said.

Outside the store, Janet Post, 55, placed flowers and lit a candle to honor Machus and Orlando. She said she made a purchase from the pair on Monday.

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