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New Details Revealed in Alpena Murders of Brynn Bills and Abby Hill

Brynn Bills
Abby Hill
Srebnik Wirgau
Brynn Bills 2

For the first time, murder charges are now coming in two cases out of Alpena. Investigators say the cases are closely linked. It’s a major development in the cases that are now over a year old.

Brynn Bills

The news comes out of an ongoing murder investigation in Alpena, in a story that we first told you about more than a year ago.

Wednesday, the Michigan Attorney General, alongside the Alpena County prosecutor and Michigan State Police, are announced new charges in the deaths of Abby Hill and teenager Brynn Bills.

Bills was reported missing from Alpena in August of 2021. Her family told police Brynn never responded to a happy birthday text. Two weeks after the missing person investigation was launched. But that search became a suspicious death investigation when her body was found in September, buried near a home belonging to Joshua Wirgau.

It’s now been over a year since the disappearance and death of Brynn Bills, and one year ago this week since the discovery of the body of Abby Hill. Now we’re getting some insight into what investigators believe really happened.

Attorney General Dana Nessel spoke via Zoom at the news conference.

“Today we are formally announcing charges against two men,” she says. “These are particularly heinous crimes that shake us to our core. Two men murdered these women in cold blood.”

Abby Hill

The Attorney General says the investigation shows Brynn Bills was picked up by Abby Hill, about a week after Bills was reported missing. And investigators believe she was killed soon after, by Brad Srebnik.

“We believe Brynn was killed with pre-meditation and deliberation by Brad Srebnik. And her body was buried in the backyard of Josh Wirgau’s home,” Nessel says.

Previous court documents listed Abby Hill as a witness in a separate case involving Joshua Wirgau and Brad Srebnik. But the Attorney General says Hill was the last one to see Brynn Bills alive. “Brynn Bills’ killers committed a senseless act and left her family and friends tortured by her disappearance and death.”

By September, Srebnik and Wirgau were already in prison on unrelated felony charges, which gave investigators more time to work on their case.

Last year, Brynn’s father told 9&10 News that she and Abby Hill were friends. The AG’s office says Hill picked up Bills in the early morning hours of August 22, 2021. And the Alpena County prosecutor says investigators believe Brynn was killed soon after.

“Abby hill, Brad Srebnik, and Joshua Wirgau stayed with friends. And it’s believed Abby Hill became upset after reading comments on social media indicating she was responsible for the death of Brynn Bills,” Nessel says.

Brad Srebnik and Josh Wirgau

But last October troopers were also searching for Hill, because she was wanted in connection with a kidnapping investigation. They wouldn’t confirm at the time if it was the Brynn Bills case, but troopers said Abby Hill may have been in danger. Soon after, Hill’s body was found in the woods. Hill “was murdered because she knew too much about the murder of Brynn Bills,” Nessel says. “Those men killed Abby Hill and left her body in the woods because they believed she would reveal information about their crimes.”

Investigators believe Srebnik killed Brynn Bills, and then together, Srebnik and Wirgau killed Abby Hill. Nessel says, “We believe Abby Hill was executed and her body was left at the site.”

Both men each now facing five felony charges, including first degree premeditated murder.

Brynn Bills

“I realize there are those that would like to have seen these charges brought sooner. But it is our duty to investigate and prosecute these cases by following the evidence and pursuing all information to its conclusion,” Nessel says. “There is no charge and no punishment that will alleviate the grief felt by the families and loved ones of these two women. But we are committed to holding responsible their killers.”

 

Investigators are not releasing a motive for Brynn Bills’ murder, and are not talking about the cause of death, although those questions may be answered in court. “Because this is an open case we are limited in the details we can share,” according to Nessel. “Brynn was loved by her family and her friends, and they want to see justice done for her murder as we all do.”

The Alpena County Prosecutor, along with two attorneys from the AG’s office will make up the prosecution team in this case. Wirgau and Srebnik, already in prison on other charges, will be formally charged in these murders on Thursday.

Brad Srebnik is charged with the following:

  • One count of first-degree premeditated homicide for the murder of Brynn Bills, a felony that carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole
  • One count of first-degree premeditated homicide for the murder of Abby Hill, a felony that carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole
  • One count of disinterment and mutilation of a dead body for the burying of Brynn Bills, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years
  • One count of felony firearm – second offense, using a firearm in the commissioning of a felony, five years consecutive to any underlying charges
  • One count of felony firearm possession, a felony with a maximum sentence of five years

Joshua Wirgau is charged with the following:

  • One count of first-degree premeditated homicide for the murder of Abby Hill, a felony that carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole
  • One count of disinterment and mutilation of a dead body for the burying of Brynn Bills, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years
  • One count of being an accessary after the fact to a felony for the hiding of Brynn Bills’ body, a felony carrying a maximum sentence of five years
  • One count of felony firearm possession, a felony carrying a maximum sentence of five years
  • One count of felony firearm – second offense notice, using a firearm in the commissioning of a felony, five years consecutive to any underlying charges

The Attorney General’s Office says both Srebnik and Wirgau are habitual offenders.

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