Missing girls found safe, homicide and abduction suspect in custody

Alex Perez, 24
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Berrien County, Mich. -- Michigan State Police have now released the names of two people who found dead inside a Coloma home this week.

Police confirmed Friday afternoon that they found the bodies of 27-year-old Renee Mitchell and her father, 67-year-old John Mitchell, inside their home in the 6400 block of M-63.

Police received a 911 call around 9 p.m. Thursday night after someone found two bodies in a home in the 6400 block of M-63 in Coloma.

"A family member saw the window was open but the house was locked," said 1st. Lt. Mike Dawson with Michigan State Police. "They thought that was strange and used a ladder to gain entry to the house, and at that point, found the bodies inside."

Police then realized that Renee Mitchell's two young children and a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu were missing, and authorities issued an Amber Alert early Friday morning.

Soon after the alert was broadcasted, an officer in Georgetown, Colorado, spotted the missing vehicle. Inside were the two children and their biological father, 24-year-old Alex Perez.

Authorities say Perez was taken into custody after a brief struggle at the scene. Police in Michigan got the call they found him around 3:30 a.m.

"We were very, very fortunate that it was just really good police work on a Clear Creek deputy,” said Detective Fabian Suarez with Michigan State Police. “He had not even received the Amber Alert yet, he was just doing his job as a patrolman and what happened is he probably may have saved the lives of two little girls for all we know."

The two children were placed with Colorado’s Department of Human Services.

The Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office has charged Perez with two counts of 1st Degree Murder, the penalty for which is life without the possibility of parole. So far, Perez hasn’t been very cooperative with police. He remains in custody.

Investigators believe Renee Mitchell and her father were killed back on Wednesday night. Autopsies and cause of death are pending.

Michigan State Police and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department are handling the investigation. The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Department in Colorado is assisting.

A lot of questions remain unanswered. Stay tuned to NewsCenter 16 and WNDU.com for the latest as the story develops.