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‘Habitual Offenders’ Charged with Murder More Than a Year After Teen Girl and the Woman Who Last Saw Her Alive Were Killed, Prosecutors Say

Brad Srebnik, Brynn Bills, Abby Hill, Joshua Wirgau

Brad Srebnik, Brynn Bills, Abby Hill, Joshua Wirgau

The top prosecutor in the Wolverine State announced charges against two men on Wednesday in the deaths of a teen girl and a woman who “knew too much” about her murder.

Brad Srebnik, 36, and Joshua Wirgau, 35, both of Alpena, Michigan, are accused of murdering 34-year-old Abby Hill to silence her from ever telling what happened to 17-year-old Brynn Bills.

Authorities have said that Bills was found buried in Wirgau’s backyard in Sept. 2021. At the time, Wirgau was considered a person of interest. Investigators believe Bills was killed in August 2021 and that Hill was subsequently executed in September 2021 because of what she could reveal about the homicide.

Hill was the last person other than the suspects to see Bills alive, authorities said.

“By September, the MSP identified Srebnik, Wirgau, and Hill as being involved in the disappearance of Bills. During the course of that investigation, it was learned that Hill was the last person to see Bills alive,” the Michigan Attorney General’s Office and said in a press release on the alleged facts in the Alpena County case. “Facebook Messenger and eyewitness testimony both support that Bills was picked up by Hill in the early morning hours of August 2, 2021. The prosecution alleges that Bills was killed by Srebnik, and her body was buried in the backyard of Wirgau’s home shortly after she was last seen alive.”

Prosecutors believe Bills did not live to see her 18th birthday, which would have been Aug. 12, 2021.

Over a month later, the AG’s office said, Hill was “executed” and her body was left in the woods.

“On September 25, 2021, Srebnik, Wirgau and Hill were dropped off in a remote area of Alpena. The prosecution believes Abby Hill, 34, of Alpena, was executed on that property to stop her from revealing information about the killing of Bills, and that Hill’s body was left at the site,” the press release said.

According to the Michigan State Police, human remains were identified as Brynn Bills’ based on tattoos found on the body that was recovered on that Alpena property.

A search warrant was executed at the house in question on the strength of an anonymous tip, authorities have said.

“The tip led us to an area where we had seen that there was some fresh dirt and something that looked like it had been dug up recently,” MSP First Lieutenant John Grimshaw told reporters at the time in response to a question about the specifics of that tip. “So it was easy to locate. There was several spots on the property like that, so we narrowed our search to those and that’s where we found the body . . . to find the patch of dirt, it was pretty evident — so it didn’t take long to see the locations of interest to us to look. It took us a long time to find the remains and to get her out of there.”

Grimshaw also said the tip was a “collaboration of some other incidents which had occurred [and] which kind of made it a pressing investigative lead that we wanted to certainly dig into.”

Jessica Eaves told reporters that she didn’t hear anything from her best friend after Aug. 3, 2021.

“All contact with everyone after the third was cut off; her phone was never turned on after the third,” Eaves told WBKB. “And, basically, trying to track where she went has been impossible. Like she went ghost after the third.”

While only Srebnick is charged with murdering Bills, Wirgau is charged with disinterment and mutilation of the teen’s body. Both men are charged with murdering Hill.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) told reporters that investigators believe Hill “became upset” when she saw “comments on social media indicating she was responsible for the death of Brynn Bills.”

“Those men killed Abby Hill and left her body in the woods because they believed she would reveal information about their crimes,” Nessel said.

The two suspects, currently incarcerated convicted felons described as “habitual offenders,” are scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday afternoon.

Srebnick faces two counts of first-degree premeditated homicide, disinterment and mutilation of a dead body, and felony firearm offenses. Wirgau faces one count of first-degree premeditated murder in Hill’s death, firearms charges, and other felony charges for allegedly burying and hiding Bills’ body.

The two face life without parole if convicted as charged.

“There is no charge or punishment that will alleviate the grief felt by the families and loved ones of these two women, but I am committed to holding responsible their killers and will exhaust all resources to see justice delivered,” AG Nessel said in a statement. “This case requires exceptional resources, and I am happy to lend the support and services of my department to the community to prosecute this case. I am dedicated to this partnership with Prosecutor Muszynski, and I am committed to seeing justice delivered to the families of Brynn Bills and Abby Hill.”

[Images via Michigan State Police, Alpena County Sheriff’s Office]

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.