Detroit firefighter's son on finding body: He was ice cold

David Madrigal beaten to death in his home on Vaughn Street

DETROIT – A preliminary hearing got underway Friday for three people who are charged with murder in the death of a Detroit firefighter.

Timmy Soto, 32, Nichole O'Neill, 33, and Christian Rasnick, 19, are facing charges of felony murder, armed robbery, arson and larceny.

A judge will decide whether to send them to trial after hearing testimony.

David Madrigal, 59, was beaten to death in his home on Vaughn Street in December.

His son, David Jr., took the witness stand first, saying he went to check on his father after not hearing from him. He said he also found it odd that every time he called his father, it went straight to voicemail.

Once inside the home, the younger Madrigal said he called out his father’s name, but didn’t get a response. He found his father in his recliner with blood on his face.

“He was ice cold,” Madrigal Jr. said.

He told the court his father had been going through some depression, and that his first thought was that he had shot himself. He said he soon realized that there wasn’t a gun and noticed things were missing, including a safe, from the home.

An upstairs bedroom had been ransacked.

The preliminary hearing will continue on May 4.

Madrigal was known as "Super Dave," by his colleagues at Engine 33. He had been a firefighter for 24 years.

His family gave this statement to Local 4: "Huge thank you to my family's extended family of Detroit fire and Detroit police for making this whole nightmare somewhat more tolerable. When I found my father, I was promised that this would not be a cold case. I would especially like to thank Det. Sullivan for his determination in solving this case."

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");