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Exploitation charge filed against man suspected of killing Great - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Exploitation charge filed against man suspected of killing Great Falls veteran

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MTN News photo by Margaret DeMarco MTN News photo by Margaret DeMarco
Adam Petzack Adam Petzack
GREAT FALLS -

Brandon Craft has been charged with deliberate homicide for allegedly killing Adam Petzack.

Petzack was reported missing earlier this year; he was a military veteran receiving disability benefits.

The GFPD says that Petzack made plans to meet with a friend in Great Falls during the week of February 9th but never re-contacted the friend to confirm the plans. Family and friends had not seen or heard from Petzack since that time. 

The GFPD said that it had been investigating Petzack's disappearance since March, and as the investigation continued, it became "increasingly possible Petzack's disappearance may have involved foul play."

In conjunction with the murder investigation, Brandon Craft has also been charged with one felony count of "exploitation of older person, incapacitated person, or person with developmental disability." Katelyn Craft is listed as a co-defendant on the charging documents.

The charging document for the financial investigation include the following details:

Petzack was a military veteran and rated at 100% disabled due to traumatic brain injury and PTSD. Petzack was receiving his VA benefits via direct deposit to his bank.

During the investigation into his disappearance, officers discovered that Petzack's bank account exhibited a "regular pattern of usage" until February 9, 2016.

After that date, the regular spending on the account stopped; the only activity for the next several week were his regularly-scheduled direct deposits from the VA.

On March 1, April 4, and May 2, the account was debited three times - each time for $1,400 - from "SQ CRAFT HOME GOSQ CO."  The SQ designation means that the charges were made using the Square credit-card processing service. There was only one other debit to the account - a charge of $124,40 to the Best Western Kelly Inn in Billings.

An officer investigating the case learned that Brandon had used to card to charge a room at the Kelly Inn on April 10, 2016.

On April 3rd, there had been an attempt to withdraw money from Petzack's account at an ATM at 1st Liberty Federal Credit Union in Great Falls; the transaction was denied because the correct PIN was not provided. 

On June 21st, officers learned that the Square credit-card processing account had been opened by Katelyn Craft on February 17th, 2016. The Square account is linked to the account of Brandon Craft at 1st Liberty Credit Union.

Several attempted transactions, ranging from $200 to $400, were recorded on May 16th.

In late June, officers contacted Brandon at a home on 66th Avenue SW, and asked if he would come to the Great Falls Police Department for an interview. 

According to court documents, officers noted that Brandon's voice was "quivering," as if he was nervous, when he was told that they wanted to talk to him about Petzack.

Brandon told the officers that he had not seen or talked to Petzack since late January or early February. He indicated that Petzack had lived with him in Choteau, but then had moved back to Great Falls. Brandon later lost his job and moved back to Great Falls. He said that Petzack's home had flooded, so Brandon invited Petzack to stay with him, as he was just moving into his current residence. He told officers that Petzack declined the offer, and told Brandon that he was moving to Wyoming.

On June 30, officers obtained Petzack's phone records from Verizon Wireless. They learned that the last phone calls between Petzack and Brandon were on February 11th.

On July 13th, a family member of Brandon confirmed to officers that Petzack had lived with Brandon in Choteau, but said that when Brandon was moving back to Great Falls, Petzack "packed his truck and disappeared."  The family member said that she did not believe Petzack ever stayed with Brandon once Brandon moved back to Great Falls.

On July 22nd, an officer went to the home at 5029 66th Avenue SW, and saw that the property appeared to be vacant. The officer contacted the homeowner, who said that he had "evicted" Brandon and Katelyn because they were two months behind on paying their rent. The homeowner told the officer that the Crafts had moved out and abandoned the home on Friday, July 15th.

The homeowner said that he had not been aware of anyone else living at the home, and said that he had never seen either of the pickup trucks that Petzack was believed to have been driving before he disappeared.

Officers inspected the property and the outbuildings at that time, but saw nothing suspicious at the time.

The Great Falls Police Department said in a press release that on Tuesday, August 16th, detectives obtained information that Petzack had been the victim of a homicide in rural Great Falls.

Crime scene tape surrounds the property on 66th Avenue SW, and Cascade County Sheriff's deputies have been at the scene throughout the night.

Craft, formerly of Great Falls and now in custody in Washington, has been charged with the murder of Petzack.

Search warrants are being executed and the investigation in continuing.

The GFPD is working with the Cascade County Sheriff's Office to recover evidence in the case.

We will update you when we get more information.

RELATED: GFPD issues missing person alert for Adam Petzack

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