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Missing Man Found in Freezer at California Self-Storage Facility, Murder Suspects Indicted

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Update 5/9/16 – Mary Hannan pleaded not guilty last week to the various charges brought against her in connection to the murder of her former boyfriend. Hannan appeared in Ventura County Superior Court before judge Bruce Young, who ordered her back to court for a pretrial conference on Oct. 12, according to the source. She remains free on $20,000 bail.

Meanwhile, Hannan’s son, Bresnak, was scheduled to appear in court on Friday for motions. Judge Gilbert Romero previously ruled in favor of a prosecution motion to retry him for murder following a jury deadlock and mistrial declaration in March, the source reported.

Prosecutors intend to ask the court to combine the homicide case with another from May 2013, in which several drug-related charges were brought against Bresnak. A grand jury has indicted him in the latter chase.


3/10/16 –
Mary Hannan, who’d been charged in connection with Korber’s murder, failed to appear for her arraignment on March 9 due to illness and has been admitted to the hospital, according to her attorney. A grand jury indicted Hannan, alleging she helped Bresnak after the murder. She was free on a $20,000 bail.

The indictment alleges Hannan helped wrap Korber’s body with plastic, duct tape and rope, and assisted in moving the freezer containing the body to the storage unit. It also alleges she kept the keys to the freezer and paid for the storage rental, according to the source. Hannan faces two additional criminal charges: conspiring to move Korber’s remains from the facility to bury them, and concealing the death from police to protect herself and her son.

Hannan’s attorney, Richard Hanawalt, told Judge Matthew Guasco he didn’t know her medical prognosis. The judge issued a bench warrant for failure to appear for a felony arraignment, but said the court would hold the warrant so Hanawalt could offer proof Hannan was ill and had to be hospitalized. A second arraignment has been scheduled for March 15.


8/26/13 – Michael Bresnak was formally arrested on suspicion of murder in the Jeffrey Korber homicide case. Korber had been missing for two years before a tip in June prompted police in Ventura, Calif., to search a self-storage unit belonging to Bresnak. Korber’s body was recovered from the unit inside a freezer.

Bresnak was already in custody for a parole violation and was subsequently arrested for the homicide on Aug. 21. Bail was set at $500,000. Bresnak’s mother, Mary Hannan, who was previously named a person of interest in the case, has not been arrested. Hannan and Korber were romantically linked, according to police.

Although investigators believe Korber was killed in 2011 inside Hannan’s home, she is not suspected of participating in the actual death, police said.


8/8/13 – The body of a missing California man was discovered recently inside a freezer in a self-storage unit at Ventura Mini Warehouse in Ventura, Calif. Jeffrey Korber, 60, had been missing for two years before a tip prompted police to search the unit.

Ventura police have named Michael Bresnak, 49, a murder suspect, although he has not been charged. He is in custody on a parole violation and being held without bond. Bresnak is the son of Korber’s girlfriend, 66-year-old Mary Hannan, who has been named a person of interest in the case. Korber lived with Hannan at the time of his death, according to investigators. The storage unit belonged to Bresnak.

Korber’s family reported him missing in Laguna Beach, Calif., in July 2011. Investigators received a tip in June about a homicide victim being kept at a Ventura self-storage facility on Market Street, which led to a search warrant. Korber’s frozen body was discovered June 28. The freezer was plugged in and in working condition, police said.

"In 24 years, I've never had a case like this. I've never been involved, I've never been around something like this," said Ventura Police Commander Darin Schindler.

Police used fingerprint records to identify Korber, although Schindler said the man’s body was preserved well enough to also confirm his identity using photographs. Investigators have not specified how Korber was killed but labeled the case a homicide.

"This only happens in the movies, not in real life," said Michelle Nickerson, manager of the storage facility. Bresnak rented the storage unit about a year ago and visited it regularly, she said. "Just an ordinary guy I would speak to every day in passing, as I do the rest of the tenants here."

The Laguna Beach Police Department’s missing-person investigation concluded early last year after investigators were unable to substantiate a crime had taken place, Schindler said.

Anyone with information related to the case is encouraged to contact the Ventura Police Department at 805.339.4441.

Sources:

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