Former Notre Dame student charged with open murder in father’s disappearance
Megan Doyle | Friday, August 10, 2012
A former Notre Dame student from Michigan was charged with open murder Thursday, less than 24 hours before a search team recovered a body today believed to be that of his missing father, police said.
Patrick Mikes Jr., 21, pleaded not guilty to the charge Thursday through his attorney at his arraignment at the 52-4 District Court in Troy, Mich., according to reports from The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News.
Mikes Jr. would have begun classes as a senior in just a few weeks. University spokesman Dennis Brown said Mikes Jr. is no longer enrolled at Notre Dame as of Aug. 2. Brown did not comment specifically on this case, but he said the administration reserves the right to immediately suspend any student charged with a felony.
Mikes Jr. and his younger brother reported their father missing July 29, according to a press release from the Troy Police Department. The brothers told police they had last seen their father the morning of July 27 as he left for a bike ride.
As police began to investigate the disappearance, they found evidence of a violent encounter in the family’s basement and named Mikes Jr. as a suspect in the case.
Media reports stated DNA recovered from the basement tied Mikes Jr., to what had at that point turned into a murder investigation. Based on that evidence, police arrested the son Wednesday for his father’s murder. An “open murder” charge allows the trial jury to decide whether the crime is first- or second-degree murder.
Capt. Robert Redmond of the Troy Police Department said today he does not know of a motive yet in the case. In an earlier press release on the investigation, he stressed Mikes Jr.’s younger brother is not a suspect in the case and is cooperating with police in the investigation.
Redmond said the nearly two-week search for a body ended this morning.
“A body, believed to be that of Mr. Mikes, was found several feet inside the edge of a cornfield on Morrish Road north of Lake Road. A bike matching the description of the bike being searched for was found about 15 feet away from the body,” a press release stated.
The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office is now working to officially identify the body. Mikes Jr. is scheduled to appear in court again to address the murder charge Aug. 27. He is currently being held at the Oakland County Jail without bond.
“When we recently arrested and charged Patrick Mikes Jr. with murder, we did not give up the search for his father,” the release stated. “We continued to search because it was the right thing to do.”
Mikes Jr. was also charged Aug. 1 with three felony counts of illegal use of a financial transaction device, meaning he illegally used a credit card that did not belong to him. Media reports stated Jr. used his brother’s credit card without his knowledge July 26, the day before he reported his father missing. Police have not indicated that any connection between those fraud charges and the most recent charge for open murder.
Brown said Mikes Sr., was a 1979 Notre Dame graduate.
“The University’s thoughts and prayers are with the Mikes family in this difficult time,” Brown said.