Abreeya Brown and Ashley Conaway Update: Five men charged in the abduction and slayings of Michigan women

Abreeya Brown and Ashley Conaway
Five men charged in slayings of 2 Michigan women
Abreeya Brown and Ashley Conaway

(CBS/WWJ/AP) DETROIT - Five men have been charged in the abduction and slayings of Abreeya Brown and Ashley Conaway, two Michigan women who prosecutors say were kidnapped and stuffed in a car trunk at gunpoint.

Brown, 18, and Conaway, 22, were abducted on Feb. 28. Their bodies were discovered March 25 in shallow graves in a wooded area on Detroit's west side, not far from their home in Hamtramck. The women had been bound and shot in the head.

Brandon Cain, 26, Miguel Rodriguez, 24, Reginald Brown, 24, Jeremy Brown, 19, and Brian Lee, 25, all of Detroit, are charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of felony murder, two counts of torture and two counts of unlawful imprisonment. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced the charges during a morning news conference Saturday.

Officials said both women were friends of the suspects. According to CBS Detroit affiliate WWJ-TV, police say Conaway may have been targeted for telling investigators that Lee and Cain shot at her nearly three weeks before the abduction.

The two men face attempted murder charges in that case in Wayne County Circuit Court, where they are accused of shooting at Abreeya Brown and Conaway's car on Feb. 8. Witnesses have said Cain had been romantically pursuing Conaway.

Worthy told The Associated Press that the case serves as a reminder about the importance of witness protection.

"This case represents many of our fears when it comes to vital witnesses in a case," the prosecutor said. "These women were heroic. They refused to relent and let these defendants deter them from continuing on with their previous case, and they paid with their lives."

CBS Detroit reports that Cain, Rodriguez and Lee are scheduled to be arraigned later on Monday.

Complete coverage of Abreeya Brown and Ashley Conaway on Crimesider