Questioning a reminder of unsolved murdersPublished 9:04am Thursday, March 25, 2010
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
Detective Fabian Suarez with the Michigan State Police Department said Wednesday he “wouldn’t be a good detective,” if he hadn’t questioned Dakotah Eliason, 14, about the February double homicide of John and Carolyn Tarwacki.
During the brief questioning, Suarez asked Eliason if he had “anything to do with” the murders. The 14-year-old was also asked if he knew the Tarwackis’ nephew, and Suarez even asked his shoe size. Those questions came as a bit of a surprise to some who were in the courtroom at the Berrien County South County Courthouse Tuesday to hear testimony regarding the case against Eliason in the alleged premeditated murder of his grandfather, Jesse Miles.
“Until someone is arrested everyone is still a suspect,” Suarez said. “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask about it.”
Very few details have been released in the still unsolved double homicide of the couple, whose deaths shocked the entire community in early February.
“It’s just going to be a very, very in-depth investigation,” Suarez said.
Authorities have continued their investigation of the double murder.
After almost a month, authorities working on the case told the Star in a previous interview they were “no closer” to solving the case and were still searching for a motive.
When asked if police were still at a loss for a motive in the murders, Suarez said he could not comment.
“We’ve still got our heels dug in,” he said. Though the task force has lost a bit of manpower since the incident, Suarez said there are still officers and detectives tirelessly working the case.
More than 500 tips have been received and responded to since the bodies of the couple were found.
“We still are getting some tips and we still ask the public’s help,” Suarez said.
“It’s not one of those open and shut cases,” he said. Suarez said another complicating factor is the Tarwackis, who were involved in the community and known by many throughout the Niles school system for their work with various music programs, “didn’t live that kind of lifestyle” often related to violent crimes.
Police searched the surroundings of the Tarwacki home on Carberry Road in Cass County, finding footprints that led to and from the house. They are currently still searching for a person of interest and a possible vehicle of interest.
Though many questions remain in the case, in the days and weeks following the murders police said evidence gathered from the scene led them to believe “someone was very angry” at the couple that morning.
Police ask the public with any information to contact the Michigan State Police Niles Post immediately at 683-4411.