Nephew arrested in Warren double homicide
Police have arrested the nephew of a Warren couple wanted in connection with their Friday shooting deaths.
Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said authorities arrested 37-year-old Joseph Lawrence Borowiak, of Warren, late Friday evening at Buddy’s Pizza in Detroit. He had been recognized from online news reports, he added.
Police earlier Friday had released Borowiak’s name and photograph, saying he was wanted as a ‘person of interest’ in the killings of Steven Collins, 67, and his wife, Cynthia, 66. The pair had been found dead in their home in the 23800 block of Panama.
Authorities said the couple died of gunshot wounds and that Borowiak was believed to be “armed and dangerous.”
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” Dwyer said. “It’s very disturbing. “I’m just pleased we were able to arrest a suspect tonight.”
The nephew had resided with the couple, but not in the past six months, said Warren Police Capt. Robert Ahrens.
Police were called to the home near Nine Mile and Mound shortly before 3 p.m. by a neighbor who had seen the couple’s dog running loose earlier in the day, retrieved it and put it in the yard.
Hours later, when the neighbor noticed the dog was still outside, she called police out of concern, officials said.
Officers arrived at the home and once inside, found the couple deceased, Ahrens said.
Borowiak’s Facebook page, which appeared to have been updated until before the slayings, was filled with unsettling posts.
Besides sharing pictures of the Bible and religious imagery, Borowiak recently claimed to be “the first born from the dead by the power of the Spirit of GOD.” In other posts he referenced the couple, appearing to liken them to Satan.
Borowiak also posted dozens of pictures of the family home and described his relatives as “the world’s worst enemy” and contended “I have been sent here to destroy them.”
His final post from early Friday showed a picture of a black gate with a white rope around the bars. “Dont you just love getting death threats.....” he wrote.
Earlier Friday evening, clusters of neighbors watched from their front yards or porches on the tree-lined street as police combed the brown-brick ranch fronted by flowers, hedges and a Detroit Tigers banner.
Many struggled to grasp the loss of the couple, who they identified as longtime residents.
“It’s shocking,” said Nancy Sagin, who has lived nearby for decades. “It’s always been a good neighborhood. We don’t usually have problems on this street.”
Neighbors regarded the couple as mostly quiet grandparents who regularly tended their yard, decorated the front window for holidays, and passed out Halloween candy.
“They’re the sweetest people in the world,” Alicia Goolsby, a former neighbor, said while standing across the street.
Police said they weren’t aware of any prior complaints reported to authorities from the home.
Greg Birch, another neighbor, had known the couple for about 20 years and this week had called Cindy Collins, who had recently experienced health issues, to check in.
“They were very quiet,” he said. “For the most part, they were just busy with the daughter and the grandkids.”
Neighbors reported seeing the nephew at the home off and on over the years.