Detroit police: Popular hairstylist likely met man who killed him on dating app

Bashar Kallabat found dead in motel

DETROIT – Detroit police said a popular Bloomfield Township hairstylist found dead in a motel likely met the man who killed him on a dating app.

Bashar Kallabat, 56, was a beloved hairdresser who was nationally known for his work.

He was killed Tuesday night inside a room at JZ Motel and Suites on Eight Mile Road near Gratiot Avenue. Police said he checked into the room about 6 p.m.

The manager of the motel, Devin, said Kallabat was a regular at the east side motel.

Bashar Kallabat
Bashar Kallabat (WDIV)

Another man, who is 24, used a ride-share company to get to the motel, police said. That man’s ride was paid for by Kallabat, according to authorities.

“We believe that the victim and suspect didn’t know each other," Craig said.

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During a press conference, Craig noted the dangers associated with ride-share companies, and said that if the payment comes from someone else, there is no way for police to find a person’s name or information.

The other man stayed at the motel for several hours after being dropped off. The manager of the motel said he got a call from an employee that something was wrong.

Members of the motel staff found Kallabat’s body, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said. Police said he was killed by blunt force trauma.

Police said security video of the other man showed him wearing a distinctive security guard jacket. He was seen leaving Kallabat’s room around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Police were able to track the man down to his job in Downtown Detroit. Officers took the 24-year-old man into custody around 9:40 a.m. Wednesday. He is on probation for unarmed robbery dating back to 2017, Craig said.

The ATF assisted in the arrest.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detroit police at 313-596-2460 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

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