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Father of Eastpointe victim: 'It's a great tragedy'

Tom Greenwood and Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Eastpointe When Michael Rakowski hadn't heard from his daughter, Monique, in nearly a day, he and his wife grew concerned.

Monique was supposed to take her 13-month-old daughter, Carmon, to a doctor's appointment Thursday as a follow up to a surgery she'd had the previous week.

Michael Rakowski and her daughter, Carmon

When the family hadn't received an update and Monique didn't show up to take her son to his baseball practice after school Thursday, Rakowski headed to his daughter's Eastpointe home. Inside he realized a parent's worst nightmare: His 29-year-old daughter and granddaughter were both dead.

"That was very horrifying," Rakowski said of discovering the bodies of his loved ones, who police say were stabbed to death.

"It's a great tragedy," Rakowski said. "My beautiful daughter and granddaughter are dead. It's left a tremendous hole in our lives that we'll never be able to fill."

Monique Rakowski's 30-year-old live-in boyfriend is in custody and police expect to seek charges against him, according to the city's public safety director.

"We'll present the facts of the investigation to (the prosecutor's office) and see if charges are authorized on our suspect," Public Safety Director John McNeilance said.

An interim arraignment to set bond could be held as early as Saturday, he said. The formal arraignment is not expected until at least Tuesday.

Police said the suspect lived with 29-year-old Monique Rakowski and her 13-month-old daughter, Carmon. Both were found dead at about 9 p.m. Thursday in their home on the 23000 block of Normandy. The suspect is believed to be the father of the girl, McNeilance said.

The bodies were found Thursday night in a home on the 23000 block of Normandy at about 9 p.m. after police and fire personnel received a report of a suspicious death.

He said police were called to the home by Rakowski's father, who became concerned when he could not reach his daughter by phone or at the home.

"He went inside the house and at that time found his daughter and his granddaughter dead," McNeilance said.

The victims had suffered stab wounds and are believed to have died sometime Thursday afternoon or evening.

"We had information that there was a live-in boyfriend who was not at the scene ... so we began our search for him to talk to him," McNeilance said.

The boyfriend appeared at the Dearborn Police Station at about 11 a.m. Friday with his brother, telling officers he had information about the deaths, according to police.

He was treated at a local hospital before being transferred to Eastpointe police custody, said McNeilance, who declined to elaborate on the man's medical treatment.

McNeilance said police are not aware of a motive in the killings, but added the suspect and Rakowski had previous contacts with police.

Meanwhile, police Friday were looking for Rakowski's vehicle, which was missing from the scene, McNeilance said. The car is described as a blue 2007 Chevrolet Impala with the license plate 1HX J18.

McNeilance said he did not know if the vehicle had been located since the suspect was taken into custody.

Gloria Rakowski, 87, last saw her granddaughter, Monique Rakowski, on Wednesday.

"I talked with her every day," she said. "She was a lovely girl, and I have nothing bad to say about her. She will be greatly missed."

According to Rakowski, she and her granddaughter bowled together frequently.

"That's what we did on Wednesday, the last time I saw her," Rakowski said. "And her daughter, Carmon, was a little charmer."

Rakowski said her daughter-in-law called her about the deaths of her granddaughter and great-granddaughter.

"She was hysterical," said Rakowski, who lives in Sterling Heights. "I'm at a loss. We just don't know what to think."

The home is one of a number of smaller and older houses in a well-kept neighborhood north of Nine Mile and between Gratiot and Interstate 94.

On Friday morning, a barbecue grill stood on the porch while a folded lawn chair was propped against the home.

At the foot of the driveway, a strip of yellow police tape fluttered from a snow shovel driven into a hummock of snow.

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