Clare County Man’s Daughter, Her Boyfriend Face Murder Charges After Body Found in Surrey Township

"The whole family lost. No one wins. No one wins. Not when you got this."

The daughter of a man found buried behind his home is now charged with his murder.

Leonard Hempel’s daughter and another man, her boyfriend, are now accused of killing him.

Northern Michigan’s News Leader has been following this investigation, and Tuesday we were in court as the two were charged.

Leonard Hempel was last seen April 9th.

His daughter Angela Hempel and her boyfriend, James Kuhns, are now charged with his murder.

Leonard’s family reported him missing last week from his Surrey Township home near Farwell.

His body was found buried on his property Sunday.

9&10’s Cody Boyer and photojournalist Harrison Light were at the arraignment in Clare County and have more details from the courtroom in tonight’s top story.


Angela Hempel and James Kuhns both face first-degree murder in the death of Leonard Hempel, Angela’s father.

Leonard’s family say it’s chilling news that offers relief and some answers.

"I’m at peace," says Jody Newman, missing person’s advocate. "I know we brought him home. I know we brought him home."

The courtroom fell silent as both Leonard Hemple’s daughter, Angela, and her boyfriend, James Kuhns, were accused of killing him.

Angela answered quietly as she told the court she understood her charges.

James argued with the judge for options to see his attorney when his bond was set high…$800,000.

"You gave us permission to dig there, knowing your dad was there," Newman says.

Jody Newman helped the family as a missing person’s advocate during the investigation.

She says the charges against the couple come as much-needed answers.

"The family has answers and they can begin to heal now," Newman says. "Now is the healing process. They have to heal."

"A little relief right now since somebody is getting held accountable for it," says Glenn Hempel, Leonard’s nephew.

Glenn says his family can rest easier knowing but justice should be served.

"I don’t think life in prison would do it for them," Hempel says. "I wish they could have the death penalty back if it does turn out that they did do something."

Still, he says the answers, so far, bring unimaginable relief.

"Relief that we found him and, once it comes out, that it was his own daughter that did something," Hempel says. "I know 100-percent that he is relieved that we found his body because he wasn’t letting us leave that spot."

"Lenny would be just thankful that he was found and now he can be properly put to rest," Newman says.

Angela also faces a charge of lying to police, punishable by up to four years and/or a $5,000 fine.

If convicted of murder in the first-degree, both could face life in prison.