Joseph Borowiak’s neighbors thought he seemed to be a “quiet guy,” albeit odd.
He lived in Warren, Michigan, with his aunt and uncle, Cindy and Steven Collins, as they kindly took him in as a kid and raised him like a child of their own.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Cindy and Steve were described by their neighbors as “down-to-earth family people,” minding their own business, doing puzzles, and cooking.
Last Friday, they were found shot dead in their home.
Borowiak has since been arrested in connection to their deaths.Screenshot/Fox 2 Detroit
The 37-year-old had a troubled past. He is described as “mentally unstable.” He has a criminal past that included charges of assaulting/resisting a police officer, assault with intent to rob and steal, and cocaine possession, according to Fox 2 Detroit.
Neighbor Greg Birch tried to help Borowiak through his darker times by offering him “odd jobs,” such as fixing up the garden and painting a garage door. He said:
“I was really hoping that the kid was gonna, you know, turn his life around. I really was.”
However, Borowiak’s issues were very deep seated. He believed he was Jesus, and was under the impression that he had “died and came back for our sins.”Screenshot/Facebook
“Joe’s opinion was that he could walk into a store, take anything he wanted, with ‘Hey, I died for your sins. I should be able to get a pack of cigarettes.'”
According to Birch, Borowiak at one time had an altar in his basement. In his home, he had Bibles and religious figurines. Borowiak allegedly said he heard voices from God and would preach to other members before services.
However, his behavior went from “eccentric to concerning.” Father Stanley Obloj of St. Mark’s Parish said:
“He acted as if he had private revelations. [He] said he was a god, he was a savior.”
After an incident in which Borowiak was seen tearing up prayer books after he saw “666 in a pamphlet’s bar code,” he was told not to return to Obloj’s church.
When Obloj caught wind of the murders, he said that the church was praying for all involved parties. He said that they did their best to help Borowiak, but “you could see anger, frustration.”Screenshot/Facebook
Days prior to the murder, Borowiak posted a hit list of family members to his Facebook profile, with names including the Collinses and their two children.
The post was followed by a selfie of Borowiak in front of the Collins’s family home.Screenshot/Facebook
Even days after the event, neighbors are in shock. However, they can now sleep soundly at night knowing Borowiak was arrested shortly after his crime.
When police released his name and photo to the public, someone recognized Borowiak in his blood spattered sweatshirt outside a Buddy’s Pizzeria in Detroit and reported him. After being spotted, Borowiak ran to a nearby vacant house in a failed attempt to hide.Screenshot/Facebook
Andre Bennett, neighbor and father of four, said that the murders “hit so close to home.”
Borowiak was denied bond and is due back in court on September 14.