‘This was premeditated:’ City leaders, family react to couple murdered at Cleveland car dealership

CLEVELAND--  There is a reward for information leading to the killers who shot a beloved couple inside their Cleveland used car dealership, as relatives and the community mourn their deaths.

Mike and Trina Kuznik, along with their dog, were found dead inside Mr. Cars, Inc. on East 185th Street just after 10 p.m. Friday.

Police said the couple’s 19-year-old son made the gruesome discovery after they never came home with dinner as planned. Items were missing from the business’s office and at least two vehicles were gone from the lot, police said.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and Crime Stoppers on Wednesday offered a $7,500 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Relatives described the Kuzniks as loving parents of three.

“Kind hearted, hardworking. They loved the kids. They'd do whatever they could for the kids,” said Selena Steele, sister of Trina Kuznik. “The kids, they're going to be hurting for a long time.”

She said the business had overnight break-ins in the past, but nothing that indicated something violent would happen. The buy-here, pay-here business was family-owned for four decades and allowed people to purchase vehicles who might not otherwise be able to find financing.

“It's a hard pill to swallow. You try to help somebody, help a community and then this happens,” Steele said. She said the family was told a cable to surveillance cameras at the business had been cut.

Ward 9 Councilman Mike Polensek knew the victims. He said investigators are looking for up to three suspects and considering robbery as a potential motive. Police could not provide a description of suspects.

“This was premeditated,” Polensek said during Monday’s council meeting. “This wasn't just a violent act against them. It was a violent act against all Clevelanders.”

On Tuesday, Cleveland police reported that a 2008 BMW 528I and 1999 Chevy Tahoe were missing from the lot and considered stolen. However, a FOX 8 News viewer provided documentation showing he legally purchased the Tahoe last Thursday. He said title paperwork may not have gone through by the time of the killings and he has notified investigators.

“This was a very brutal crime, and this crime needs to be solved,” Prosecutor Mike O’Malley said.

A vigil for the Kuzniks was planned for 6 p.m. Friday outside Mr. Cars. Anyone with information about vehicles missing from the dealership or about suspects is asked to call Cleveland Police.

“Somebody just needs to be responsible for doing this,” Steele said. “If you did it and you know you did it, you need to turn yourself in before you get caught.”

Continuing coverage on this story here

Mr. Cars