Grand jury returns 1st degree murder indictment against Crow Wing County man

Michael Lee LaFlex is accused of killing his daughter's boyfriend, 23-year-old Bryce Brogle.

The Crow Wing County Judicial Center is off Laurel Street in Brainerd.

BRAINERD — A 45-year-old Crow Wing County man was indicted on a charge of first degree premeditated murder in connection with the 2022 death of his daughter’s boyfriend.

Michael LaFlex
Michael Lee LaFlex

A grand jury returned the indictment Friday afternoon, March 31, against Michael Lee LaFlex, a Center Township resident.

LaFlex was arraigned Nov. 1 on a charge of second degree murder with intent but not premeditation following the death of his daughter’s boyfriend, 23-year-old Bryce Brogle. Brogle was reported missing Oct. 28, 2022, after going to a storage unit rented by LaFlex two days earlier.

During the investigation, LaFlex initially told law enforcement Brogle was arrested by unknown officers and Brogle had two cellphones confiscated by law enforcement. LaFlex later changed his story, saying he disposed of the phones in a garbage can at a gas station in Brainerd, according to the complaint. Investigating law enforcement officers found the phones.

The complaint stated further investigation included information gained from a concerned citizen, who wished to remain anonymous, but was known to law enforcement. The citizen had occasional conversations throughout the evening of Oct. 29, 2022, with a family member of LaFlex. The family member said LaFlex disclosed details of the incident with them, including that LaFlex believed Brogle was abusing LaFlex’s daughter.


According to the citizen, the family member learned LaFlex shot Brogle at a storage unit complex in Crow Wing County on or around the evening of Oct. 26, 2022, and moved the body using a sled. LaFlex then cleaned the storage unit with bleach and told the family member he disposed of the body and Brogle would not be found as the body was buried, according to the complaint.

Law enforcement executed a search warrant at LaFlex’s storage unit Oct. 29, 2022, and recovered a substance testing positive for blood on the floor, along with a bottle of bleach. There were also marks on the concrete floor that appeared consistent with a similar width of a sled dragging across the floor.

Law enforcement conducted a foot search of public land Oct. 30, 2022, in Crow Wing County looking for Brogle’s body. They identified a possible gravesite and excavated a body with an apparent gunshot wound to the back of the head. The body, later identified as Brogle’s, was transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy, which determined the cause of death to be a distant gunshot wound to the back of the head.

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