Who is Isaiah Gardenhire? Michigan man out on bail kills girl, 13, and sexually abuses 2 women
Isaiah G 'Zeek' Gardenhire was reportedly out of jail on bond when he allegedly went on a two-day crime spree and hi girlfriend was his first victim
ISABELLA COUNTY, MICHIGAN: A man has been accused of fatally stabbing a teenage girl, sexually assaulting two women, and also taking hostages while reportedly being out on bail. Prosecutors said on Tuesday, June 8, that Isaiah G 'Zeek' Gardenhire also misbehaved and acted aggressively on Zoom during his bond hearing.
According to reports, the 40-year-old man’s two-day crime spree started on June 6 after being out of jail on bond. He was behind the bars on a second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge. However, once out, he allegedly sexually abused his girlfriend in Mount Pleasant. The victim’s name has not been revealed. Isabella County Prosecutor David Barberi said, “At some point during that altercation, Mr Gardenhire’s attention turned to [the girlfriend’s] daughter, who was in the home as well.”
To save herself from any further attack, the girlfriend reportedly escaped the house for help and Gardenhire allegedly fatally stabbed the woman's 13-year-old daughter. When the woman returned home with police officers, she reportedly found her child covered in stab wounds. Despite all the efforts to save her, the unnamed teenager succumbed to her injuries.
Gardenhire allegedly then went to another house and took hostages of a man and a woman while cops searched for him. He also allegedly repeatedly sexually abused the woman and then took the pair’s money and car, Barberi stated, who added, “This is certainly a horrific tragedy and a completely senseless loss of life. We know that these events caused the entire community to be on edge. We’re confident that any harm or fear that was caused by Mr Gardenhire is now over, as he is in custody. Our focus now is on the healing of the victims involved in this case and providing any services we can and the opportunity to deliver justice for them and ensure the justice system will operate properly, as we know it will.”
The suspect’s notoriety apparently did not end there as after being caught when he was virtually presented before Isabella County Judge Sara Spencer-Noggle, who set his new bond at $3 million, he misbehaved. Gardenhire allegedly grinned, moaned and showed both middle fingers. He was arraigned on single counts of open murder, armed robbery, carjacking, first-degree home invasion, and first-degree criminal sexual conduct using a weapon, three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with multiple variables, and two counts each of unlawful imprisonment and assault with a dangerous weapon.
Meanwhile, an unidentified neighbor of the first woman, whom Gardenhire allegedly assaulted, spoke about the aftermath of the shocking case. He reportedly woke up the next morning after hearing the sounds of the ambulances. The person told the local news outlet WNEM-TV, “Shocking. Surreal. You can't help but feel guilty. Would things have changed if we would have heard her? I wasn't really sure what was going on. I didn't assume anything like that had happened.”
The neighbor continued: “Barefoot, she looked like her clothes had been torn up, not in good shape. Come to found out, (the victim) had gotten out at some point during the night and come over to our house and tried knocking on our door for help. Went outside a little bit later and realized that there were bloody, muddy handprints all over our front door,” before saying about Gardenhire, “I don't want to say that this is something that we expected to happen. Obviously, no one expects for that to happen. But something always seemed kind of fishy over there. Something always seemed weird about him.”