DETROIT (WWJ) - Police have taken four people into custody for questioning in the murder of an elderly man who was found dead inside his burning home in northwest Detroit.
The Police Department's Special Response Team raided a home on Bentler Court, near 8 Mile and Lahser roads, early Tuesday morning. The home is right next door to where 91-year-old Paul Monchnik was found dead.
Police described the four people taken away from the scene for questioning as family members of the suspect wanted in Monchnik's death.
According to police, Monchnik was beaten during a robbery inside his home Monday. To cover up the crime, police said the suspect went to a nearby gas station before returning to Monchnik's home with a gas can and setting it on fire. The suspect also stole Monchnik's van, police said.
Investigators released surveillance video that showed the suspect at a gas station. He was wearing a red or orange skull cap, a gray hoodie and Michigan basketball pants.
The suspect was not at the house at the time of the raid, police said. He remains at large.
The victim's vehicle has since been recovered, with a gas can inside, according to police.
Lewis Calvin, who described himself as the suspect's relative, said the whole situation has left him baffled.
"You wouldn't expect it, you know, he's -- look, if my great-nephew is [who] they're looking for, he's a good kid. I just can't believe it if that's who they're looking for," Calvin told WWJ's Mike Campbell, getting emotional. "We kept saying, it looks like somebody in the neighborhood, but that name never popped in my head because he's supposed to be at Romulus High School playing basketball, going to class like all his siblings."
An investigation is ongoing.
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