Reward up to $7,500 offered in double murder at Cleveland car dealership
Michael and Trina Kuznik (Source: WOIO)
2008 BMW 528i (Source: Cleveland Police)
DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -
Mike and Trina Kuznik appeared to have been caught off-guard when they were murdered at their 185th St. car dealership on Good Friday, according to Cleveland Police.
Deputy Chief Ed Tomba spoke Friday afternoon, one week after the pair was murdered at the Mr. Cars used car dealership.
“The crime scene in itself the one victim was at his desk, you know he was shot sitting in the area of his desk and it looked like the female was more toward rear of the building it looked like she may have been trying to get out the back door when she was shot,” said Tomba.
He said the motive appears to have been robbery, but the investigation is ongoing.
On April 14, officers responded to the Mr. Cars Inc. automobile dealership in the 700 block of East 185th Street. Police say that the victims' 19-year-old son went to the car lot after he was not able to contact his parents. He found his two parents, 47-year-old Michael Kuznik and 46-year-old Trina Kuznik, suffering from gunshot wounds to their heads.
Tomba said that surveillance cameras at the business were removed, and a search of camera footage from other local businesses has so far been unsuccessful.
The couple’s dog was also killed, and Tomba said that detectives are looking for possible evidence the dog may have collected.
“We did request that the medical examiner's office take the dog and perform the swabbing on the mouth of the dog a very, very unusual request from our homicide unit but that's a possibility any type of potential evidence is something that we have to really take a look at,” said Tomba. “We don't know if the dog bit because we don't have the person or persons who were there but if there's something type of blood evidence or DNA evidence in the dog's mouth, on the dog’s teeth that's something we have to follow up on if we develop a suspect and we can compare that that all goes to help our case.”
“We do take it very, very serious. We've been to the crime scene three times. I personally had conversations with councilman Polensek while were in the process of looking for Steve Stephens,” said Tomba. “I grew up in that neighborhood. The councilman is very, very passionate about that neighborhood. It's a very heinous crime, but the division of police was on it, we’re on it and we continue to investigate it.”
According to police, a blue four-door 2006 Mercedes Benz was stolen from the Mr. Cars used car dealership and has not been recovered.
Originally, a Chevrolet Tahoe was originally believed to be stolen but it is now known that it was purchased by a male earlier in the week prior to the murders. The paperwork was not immediately found.
A BMW 528i that was missing from the lot was located parked in the 3800 block of West 48th Street Thursday night. Officers arrested one man in the area where the car was found. This man was arrested on unrelated warrants and his home was searched. He is not believed to be associated with the homicide investigation.
Tomba said that the victims do appear to have been targeted, but said that others in the area should remain on alert.
“We should always be concerned especially with the level of violence that took place in that car lot on 185th street,” said Tomba.
Polensek said this is a senseless act of violence.
"Alarmingly, the killers of Michael and Trina, who are husband and wife, are still on the loose," he said.
There are still no suspects.
A reward up to $7,500 is being offered by Crime Stoppers in the case.
Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 216-623-5464. Anonymous information can be given to Crime Stoppers by calling 216-252-7463 or via text message -- text TIP657 plus your message to Crimes (274637).