Warren woman found dead in garage with stab wounds; grandson arrested in Ohio

Police believe 23-year-old man killed grandmother, fled to Ohio

WARREN, Mich. – A 23-year-old man arrested in Toledo, Ohio is considered a suspect in his grandmother's murder at her home in Warren.

Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said investigators believe the 68-year-old woman was killed Saturday at her home on Masch Avenue near Stephens Road. Police said the woman had not been seen or heard from since that day.

  • Suspect charged: Damon Austin Barstad was being extradited from Ohio to Michigan and charged with first-degree murder.

Police received a call from the woman's son and went to her home to check on her Wednesday night. They found her dead in the garage. That was about 11 p.m., Dwyer said. Police made their arrest about 3 a.m. Thursday at a Days Inn hotel in Toledo. The victim's vehicle also was found in Ohio, apparently taken by her killer. The vehicle was found at a mall in Toledo with its tires flat.

Dwyer said it appears the woman was stabbed to death. She was found in a recycling bin in the home's detached garage. Two knives also were found in the bin. It's unclear if the woman was killed in the garage or in the home.

Dwyer also said the suspect lived with the victim -- his grandmother -- for a short period of time. He said there never were any reported problems at the home and no calls to 911.

Right now, there is no clear motive for the murder.

"This is an extremely brutal murder," the police commissioner said.

Dwyer said the are certain they have the right suspect. He was being held by police in Toledo before being extradited to Michigan to face charges.

The Warren police commissioner said this is the fourth murder in the city this year, three less than the seven reported in 2017.

"Still, four too many," Dwyer said. "All four murders were committed by a person who knew the victim, and all suspects were apprehended immediately or within hours of the crime."

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