NEW BALTIMORE, Mich. - Money appears to the motive in the deaths of a Macomb County couple, authorities said Monday, three days after their son was charged with fatally stabbing them in 2006.
New Baltimore Police Chief John Bolgar said investigators got tips from around the world after a story about the case and a mysterious message in blood recently aired on "America's Most Wanted."
There has been much interest in interpreting some letters left in blood on the garage floor by one of the victims, but it wasn't the "linchpin" in whether to file first-degree murder charges against Ronald Jabalee Jr., Bolgar said.
"What it means? We're still working on it," he said.
The bodies of Ronald and Christine Jabalee, bludgeoned and stabbed, were found in their garage in New Baltimore, 40 miles northeast of Detroit, in October 2006. They were 58.
Their 40-year-old son operates a meat market in Detroit. A grand jury returned murder charges against Jabalee on Friday, and he remains without bond in the Macomb County jail.
Defense lawyer Stephen Rabaut said Jabalee is "absolutely" not guilty. His next court appearance is July 6.
"My client had a very close and loving relationship with his parents. He misses his parents. It's devastating to him," Rabaut said of the charges.
A grand jury is rarely used by Michigan prosecutors to investigate crimes. But in this case, it was used to compel testimony from reluctant witnesses, county Prosecutor Eric Smith said.
"If you don't testify ... you can be held in contempt," he said.
Smith said money appears to be the motive in the deaths of the Jabalees, but he and Bolgar said they could not divulge what was revealed to the grand jury.
"It appears that one of the reason why the investigation has taken so long is, aside from looking at every possible tip and every possible suspect out there, is that there appears to be some financial motives involved," Smith said. "We're looking at bank records ..."
An emergency bond hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.
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