ALPENA – The people who knew Alpenas Brynn Bills best use words such as caring, outgoing, funny and smart to describe them.
Bills’ father, Duane Bills, said that when he thinks about his daughter, he thinks of her curiosity, her love for the natural resources of the Alpena region, and her love and compassion for others.
“She was so spontaneous and outgoing and just loved having fun,” said Duane Bills of Fairview on Tuesday. “She loved hanging out with her friends, playing volleyball, loved being outside and was a free spirit who cared very much about others.”
Following a lead, the police discovered the body of Brynn Bills last week, which was buried behind a house in the municipality of Alpena. She has been missing since early August.
The cause and circumstances of her death are still being investigated. Police have arrested homeowner Joshua Wirgau and another man, Brad Srebnik, on charges unrelated to their deaths. The police consider Wirgau to be a person of interest for their investigation, but have no suspects.
Police said Tuesday another woman, Abby HIll, who is linked to Wirgau and Srebnik and who apparently knew Brynn Bills, was missing and could be at risk. Hill is also wanted for the same alleged incident that led to the charges against the two men.
Brynn Bills would have turned 18 on August 12.
Those who were close to her said she had a zest for life.
Duane Bills said that when his daughter graduated from school, she tended to become a nurse after high school to help those who needed it most.
Brynn Bills’ mother Cenia Banks described her daughter as quirky, caring, and funny. She said Brynn Bills had a great sense of humor and was very intelligent.
Banks said Brynn Bills was on the honor roll during elementary school and junior high, but admitted that her high school grades had plummeted.
“She was so smart,” said Banks. “Her teachers and principals always described her as intelligent and clever. It was a lot of fun too. She was the life of the party and loved playing pranks. “
Banks said her daughter loves all kinds of music, especially rock and heavy metal, as well as country and rap. She said Brynn Bills also enjoyed theater and took part in several plays at the school.
Many of Brynn Bills’ friends and family have changed their social media profile pictures to photos of Brynn Bills as a tribute to them and the relationships she had with them. Thousands of people have joined a Facebook group called Justice for Brynn and posted reminders, photos, condolences, and updates about the police investigation.
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Jack Peace said he had been close friends with Brynn Bills for more than five years. He said when he closes his eyes and thinks of her, the first thing that comes to mind is her smile.
“I know that sounds clichéd, but it’s absolutely true,” said Peace. “She always had an endless supply of happiness no matter what was going on around her. We always hung out with friends and she loved walking through the woods. “
A memorial and celebration of the life of Brynn Bills is scheduled for October 23rd from 1pm to 3pm at the Lost Creek Sky Ranch. Guests have the opportunity to share their feelings about Brynn Bills.
A 5K, silent auction and a cake sale will follow. The proceeds from these events are intended to cover the costs of the funeral. Later that night, guests will partake in a campfire, music, and the launch of 18 burning lanterns to represent and celebrate the girl’s 18th birthday.
When asked what he will miss most about his friend, Peace answered in one word:
“Everything,” he said. “I’ll miss everything about her.”