Home of couple killed in Battle Creek damaged in fire

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A house where a couple was killed in Battle Creek caught fire early Sunday morning, family members tell News 8.

Courtesy photos of Joseph Soule and Jaclyn Lepird.
Courtesy photos of Joseph Soule and Jaclyn Lepird.

It happened around 4:15 a.m. on Post Avenue near Marjorie Street.

The couple, Joey Soule and Jackie Lepird, were killed Oct. 7, authorities say. They were missing for more than a week before their bodies were found.

They rented the upstairs unit of the home. Their landlord, Chad Reed, who lived on the first floor of the home, confessed in their murders on Thursday. He is being held at the Calhoun County Jail and is expected to be formally charged on Monday.

An undated courtesy photo of Chad Allen Reed. (Michigan Sex Offender Registry)

The Battle Creek Fire Department says when they arrived to the scene Sunday morning, the front of the house was on fire. Several fire crews worked to put the fire out before performing safety searches. Officials say they were on the scene for over an hour.

The home was not occupied at the time and no one was injured, fire officials say.

The home of a couple killed in Battle Creek damaged in a fire over a week after their homicides. (Oct. 18, 2020)

“All that we had in this house is all that we had left of Jackie,” her sister Trinity Middleton said. “All of her stuff was in here. It’s gone. There might be some stuff that we can save, but they will be smoke damaged. But at this point I would give anything to just have one thing of hers. 

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. Authorities in Battle Creek are not saying the incident is suspicious at this time and are continuing to investigate.

Family members tell News 8 a vigil will be held in honor of Soule Sunday at 8 p.m. A second vigil is planned for Lepird on Thursday at Leila Arboretum.