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A Minnesota man has been arrested and charged with the murder of his daughter’s boyfriend, reports say.
According to a criminal complaint, which is no longer publically available, Michael Lee Laflex, 45, of Brainerd, Minnesota, shot and killed Bryce Brogle, 23, at a storage shed “on or about the evening of” October 26. The two had gone together to the shed rented by Laflex. Laflex’s daughter, who may have been living with Brogle at the time, reported him missing two days later.
Police with the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office say that a “concerned citizen,” already familiar to them, had spoken with a member of Laflex’s family, who, in turn, had spoken with Laflex on Saturday. According to the family member, Laflex believed that Brogle had been physically abusive to his daughter. For that reason, he said he had shot Brogle at the storage shed and transported his dead body elsewhere using a sled. He further told the family member that he had buried Brogle’s body, that the gravesite would never be found, and that he had cleaned up the crime scene using bleach, the complaint and probable cause statement said.
A subsequent investigation of the storage shed revealed a bottle of bleach and the presence of blood on the floor. “There were also marks on the concrete floor of the storage unit that appeared consistent with something being dragged across the floor in a similar width to a sled,” the complaint alleged.
Police then began searching public land in Crow Wing County and stumbled upon an area which appeared to be an unmarked grave. An excavation of the area unearthed human remains later identified as Brogle. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Brogle had died from “a distant gunshot wound to the back of the head,” the complaint stated.
The exact location of the burial site has not been disclosed.
The landlord over the property where Brogle and Laflex’s daughter supposedly lived came forward and told police that Laflex had called him recently and inquired whether Brogle had ever abused his daughter. The landlord admitted to him that, at one point, he had seen her with two black eyes. The landlord then claimed that Laflex told him that he was going to kill Brogle and that he had already prepared a burial “hole.”
Reports said that when questioned, Laflex initially told police that an unidentified law enforcement officer had arrested Brogle and confiscated his two cell phones. Laflex later changed his story and said that he had disposed of the two cell phones himself, dumping them in a gas station garbage can. Police said they ultimately recovered Brogle’s cell phones.
On Saturday, Laflex was arrested and charged with second-degree murder with intent, but not premeditated murder, and on Tuesday, a Crow Wing County judge set an unconditional bail/bond at $2 million. Should Laflex post bail or bond, he will have to relinquish his passport.
The court did not appoint a public defender for Laflex, who expressed interest in hiring a private attorney.
Laflex is no stranger to law enforcement as he has already been convicted of two sexual offenses. In 1999, he pled guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct and was given supervised probation for five years. Then in 2018, he pled guilty to fourth-degree criminal misconduct with an adult considered mentally impaired or otherwise helpless. Records indicate that the victim, diagnosed as developmentally disabled, initially refused Laflex’s sexual advances but later acceded to them at Laflex’s “insistence.”
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