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Bodies Found in Murder Suspect’s Car

May 1, 2002

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) _ A man being held in Utah after police found two dead bodies in his car had hired one of the victims at a Detroit rehabilitation center and homeless shelter, police said.

Patrick Daniel interviewed 35-year-old Robert Bilton and promised to pay him $10 an hour to be a caretaker for an apartment complex, said Ann Arbor police Detective Sgt. Richard Kinsey.

Several days later, Bilton, of Dearborn, was dead. He had been strangled, his body wrapped in plastic and stuffed into the trunk of a car, police said. The bodies were found after Daniel was pulled over March 14 for missing a license plate.

Daniel has been charged in Michigan with one count of murder in Bilton’s death. Also found in the car March 15 in Sevier County, Utah, was the frozen and dismembered body of Daniel’s former girlfriend, 31-year-old Becky Britton. Authorities still haven’t determined when or where Britton was killed, and Daniel has not been charged in her death.

Authorities suspect Daniel was trying to steal Bilton’s identity.

Police found Bilton’s empty wallet in the basement of Daniel’s Ann Arbor condominium, according to court records. Daniel had a copy of a birth certificate and Bilton’s Social Security number. The two men also had similar physical characteristics, Kinsey said.

An extradition hearing to return Daniel to Washtenaw County has been scheduled for June 4.

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