Evart woman, Gladwin man use shovel to beat man digging for treasure

October 5, 2017

By Pat Maurer

After a more than three month search, a Gladwin man, Brett Ostrander, and an Evart woman, Christie Austin have been arrested in connection with the June 17 assault of a Harrison man in the Hamilton Township Cemetery.

A tip led officers to an Alma bank where Austin, 43, was arrested by Alma Police last Friday (September 29). Ostrander, 49 turned himself in at the Gratiot County Sheriff’s Office. Both Austin and Ostrander were arrested on outstanding Clare County warrants on assault with intent to murder and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Brett Ostrander

Brett Ostrander

Around 5:30 a.m. June 17, Clare County deputies were called to a residence on East Townline Lake Road to investigate the report that a person had been assaulted with a hammer and a shovel. The victim, a 22-year-old Harrison man, Kollin Love, told officers he was assaulted by two people while the three were digging for buried money in an unoccupied section of the Hamilton Township Cemetery. Ostrander and Austin reportedly told him they had buried the money sometime earlier.

In an interview with 9 & 10 News last June, Kollin said the others dug a hole, but that the story was a trap. He said they began attacking him. Love said he managed to escape and, covered in blood, ran into the woods and eventually made his way to a residence owned by Linda Bentley. Reportedly he had a head injury and injuries to his arm and leg. Meanwhile Ostrander and Austin drove away. Love was taken to MidMichigan Medical Center – Gladwin where he was treated for his injuries and released.
Both Ostrander and Austin were arraigned Monday in 80th District Court by Magistrate Steven Worpell on charges authorized the Clare County Prosecutor’s office.

Christie Austin

Christie Austin

Austin’s bond was set at $100,000 cash/surety. Ostrander’s bond was set at $250,000 cash/surety. Both remain lodged in the Clare County Jail.

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