North Royalton Police filed aggravated murder and other charges Wednesday.

North Royalton police filed charges Wednesday against a man whom police say killed 5 people in two counties over the weekend before a standoff in Brunswick.

George C. Brinkman Jr., 45, was in the North Royalton Police Department's jail Wednesday morning, but was expected to be moved to the Cuyahoga County Jail, said Detective Dave Loeding.

A hearing on his newest charges of aggravated murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence was expected to take place Thursday morning in Parma Municipal Court.

Two murder warrants were issued in Stark County on Tuesday, charging Brinkman with the Sunday evening deaths of Rogell "Gene" John, 71, and his wife, Roberta "Bobbi" John, 64. The couple was shot to death in the bedroom of their home after they returned from vacation.

Brinkman had been house-sitting for them, authorities have said. His last known address was listed as Norriton Circle NW in Plain Township.

Investigators believe he killed the couple hours after killing three women in North Royalton.

Brinkman is a charged with aggravated murder for the deaths of Suzanne Taylor, 45, and her daughters, Taylor Pifer, 21, and Kylie Pifer, 18, in Taylor's North Royalton home about 4 p.m. Saturday. Their bodies, placed in a bed and covered in blankets, weren't found until Sunday evening.

North Royalton police questioning neighbors Sunday night and Monday morning learned that a black van had been seen at the home around the time of the killings, Loeding said, adding that Brinkman's name was mentioned as "somebody who visits once in a while."

Detectives called Stark County Sheriff's deputies, telling them that Brinkman was a "person of interest," and asking if they'd check some addresses in Stark County where Brinkman was known to stay.

The list did not include the Johns residence in the 1300 block of Mount Pleasant Street NW in Lake Township, said Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier.

 

Stark deputies were called to the couple's home about 4:20 p.m. Monday when their son found them dead. Like the North Royalton women, the bodies were covered with blankets.

"Shortly after then, we again contacted (North Royalton) detectives, telling them that Brinkman was our person of interest," Maier said, adding that the agencies shared their information and Stark deputies rechecked the addresses Brinkman had been known to stay.

At some point, the FBI became involved in the investigation. And, eventually, Brunswick police.

A quick telecommunications investigation involving the location of a cellphone Brinkman had led police directly to the Brunswick home of a woman Brinkman knew, Loeding said. North Royalton and Brunswick border one another.

"He made contact with this Brunswick woman for a place to stay," Loeding said, adding that the woman and her daughter were at the home.

But he wasn't there long. About an hour later, authorities found him and a standoff ensued, Loeding said.

During the standoff, Brinkman held a Facebook conversation with a TV reporter, telling her that he'd known the women in North Royalton for a long time.

Maier said Brinkman also had known the Johns for a long time. He had lived with their daughter and worked for them. They evidently trusted him enough that he was house-sitting for them and taking care of their aging dog while they were on vacation, the sheriff said.

Authorities said they do not know whether Brinkman had harmed anyone else between the time the women in North Royalton were killed and the time the Johns were killed. North Royalton and Brunswick are about an hour away from Lake Township.

"He had stopped to see a female friend who has a daughter," Loeding said. "I'm glad we intercepted him when we did."

North Royalton police wound up with Brinkman in their custody after the standoff, so authorities there may have first crack at prosecuting him.

"Our crime occurred first and he's here," Loeding said.

Reach Lori at 330-580-8309 or lori.steineck@cantonrep.com.

On Twitter: @lsteineckREP