Timeline of Cipriano family attack; What happened inside Farmington Hills home?

Defenders take closer look at what happened before, during April 16 attack on Farmington Hills family

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – Police say Tucker Cipriano used a bat to beat his father, mother and brother and that he wasn't alone.

Investigators say Tucker's friend, Mitchell Young, also went on the attack.

What drove these young men to go on such a violent rampage?

Police investigators made their way in and out of the Cipriano family's Farmington Hills home. Inside, Local 4 has learned veteran police investigators were stunned to find what was left behind. Blood soaked the walls and floors. It was an obvious sign of a chaotic struggle. Bob Cipriano, his wife and son put up a fight. Police say when Tucker broke out in a violent rage, Young followed.

The story begins weeks before. Police say both Tucker and Young are essentially homeless. They were living in motels.

More: Cipriano attack special section

On April 5, Tucker, who was already on probation for drugs, skipped a meeting with his probation officer. Police say the men were desperate for money and allegedly were plotting a sinister crime against Tucker's own family members, hoping to take off with cash and much more.

On April 16, 2 a.m. Monday morning, sources say Tucker and Young broke into the Cipriano home. Both men had been smoking synthetic marijuana, also called K2. The drug can cause hallucinations. Investigators close to the investigation say it wasn't just for money. They say the men also had a murder plan. They planned to take out the entire family by beating them to death with bats.

"They had a plan. They were not successful in their plan," said retired Detroit police investigator Tom Berry. "They were only half successful, and the family suffered from it."

Local 4 is told Bob Cipriano was the first victim. His son Tucker allegedly carried out the attack by hitting his father repeatedly over the head with the bat. Bob's wife, Rose Cipriano, and son Sal work to protect Bob but they were the next victims.

According to sources, Mitchell Young allegedly went after Rose while Tucker allegedly beat his brother. Later, Local 4 is told, Young was ordered to kill Tucker's 8-year-old sister in the basement but has allegedly since confessed that he just couldn't do it. What Young didn't know is that Tucker's other brother, Tanner, had a cellphone. At 2:48 a.m., Tanner hid from Tucker and Young and called police from a closet.

- Rose Cipriano

"He's the one that called 911. The little girl is the one that let police officers in the house," Berry said. ".. to the extremely grizzly scene."

Once inside, police say it was clear the attackers worked to move and hide the bodies of the victims. Investigators say they found Mitchell Young inside the Cipriano home trying to run from police. He was immediately arrested.

Tucker took off but police tracked him down hours later at a home in Keego Harbor. It didn't take long for police to find a serious issue. At the time of the attack, Tucker was on probation for drug-related charges. On April 5, he skipped a noon meeting with his probation officer. However, it appears a warrant was not immediately issued for his arrest. He roamed the streets for the next week.

He was staying at motels. During that time, he allegedly plots the murder.

Now, after the crime, the probation officer has been suspended and an investigation is underway. Could this crime have been prevented if Tucker was picked up?

What role did drugs, their criminal pasts and personal problems play in these attacks?

"If you take drug use out of all of that equation, I don't think you'll see the kind of rage that was executed in the house that night," said Dr. Donna Rockwell, clinical psychologist.

Tucker apparently was devastated that his birth mother had recently died. He had been estranged from his adopted parents. However, those who knew them say Bob and Rose Cipriano did everything to help Tucker. He was in therapy from a young age. He was enrolled in private school. His parents were often unable to track him down. Just recently, they had sent him messages on Facebook wishing him a happy birthday and hoping he would come home to celebrate.

"There was a history of arrests. There was a history of drug use. You have this adoptive family, what are they supposed to do with this young man?" Rockwell said.

In court, Mitchell Young broke down. He was sobbing uncontrollably. Tucker's demeanor was much different.

Local 4 has learned from sources that both men have confessed to the crime. Those confessions were recorded. However, the case could be an interesting legal battle. The defense is likely to argue the men were strung out on drugs.

"We may be looking at a drug-fueled rage attack," said Rockwell. "Which without the drugs would never have happened."

No one can argue what happened inside the Farmington Hills home was horrific. A loving husband and father, Bob Cipriano was beaten to death with a bat. His wife Rose and son Sal also were severely beaten. The two other children are left to live without their family and will hold on to haunting memories of what happened inside their home.

Moreover, two young men are locked up. If they are found guilty of murder charges, they could spend their lives in prison, all for what unfolded in less than 30 minutes inside a Metro Detroit home one early morning.

Both Tucker and Young remain in jail, held without bond. They will be back in court in May and between now and then investigators are expected to reveal more about what happened during the attack.

About the Author:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.