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Family, detectives still looking for clues in murder of Ally Brueger

MSP: parents no longer considered suspects
Posted at 11:25 AM, Jul 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-30 17:22:38-04

Two years after she was shot to death near Holly, Michigan, Ally Brueger’s parents and police are still begging for information about the murder of the young nurse.


Ally’s mother, Nikki Brueger, says this sad anniversary is no worse than other day without her only daughter – she says every day is terrible.


“It is just a mark of time.  It really hasn’t quelled the anger, the pain, the despair that we feel every day because we have no closure.  We don’t know why and we don’t know who did this,” said Nikki.


Today Michigan State Police say they no longer consider Ally’s parents suspects, and her parents say her father has now passed a polygraph test.  Originally, police could not rule out either parent largely because they were each other’s alibi: both say they were home together at the time of Ally’s murder.


“I volunteered to do a polygraph test, which I passed with flying colors,” said Franz.


MSP detectives are still looking for the final pieces of the puzzle to bring Ally’s killer to justice.  State police officials say this is not a cold case, and they are still actively chasing down information as it comes in.


If you have information about Ally Brueger’s murder, please call 1-855-MICH-TIP.


“They are actively pursuing leads that they got at the beginning of the year,” said Nikki.  “They’re 99% sure that it’s a man.  And a shotgun was used.  And whoever this puny, impotent coward is, he’s still out there and he’s still walking free.”


On July 30, 2016, Alexandra “Ally” Brueger was in the middle of her daily ten-mile run when someone murdered her.  It happened on Fish Lake Road near Holly in Rose Twp., which was part of Ally’s regular running route.


“I walked the same route as Alexandra did… This walk today, it was in memory of her.  I took her running shoes with me,” said Franz.  “You cannot imagine what it feels like when you come up to that place where you almost picture, in the next few steps – here is your child that is going to get assassinated within the next few steps.”


Michigan State Police say they found four shotgun casings at the scene.  Only one of those shots hit Ally.  She was shot in the back, presumably as she was trying to run away from her killer.


Nikki and Franz say Ally had no enemies. She loved animals and planned to get her PhD in poetry.  To fund her dream of becoming a writer, the 31-year-old worked long hours as a nurse at Providence Park Hospital in Novi.  That’s where she met her ex-boyfriend Wes Sutherland, who also works there.


“We have spoken with Wes. We’ve interviewed him a couple of times now.  He’s a suspect in this incident,” said Michigan State Police First Lt. Michael Shaw in March 2018. 


At the time, F/Lt. Shaw had also said Sutherland is not the only suspect.


“Unfortunately, unless you rule people out or have a very solid alibi, everybody’s a suspect.  Including mom and dad right now,” said F/Lt. Shaw


But now F/Lt. Shaw says the Michigan State Police Special Investigations detectives no longer consider the Bruegers suspects. 


Ever since Sutherland said in an interview on the national show, Crime Watch Daily, that he considered Franz Brueger a suspect, Nikki and Franz were determined to clear his name.


Nikki Brueger says Franz took a polygraph examination with the Michigan State Police on April 13, 2018.  She says he passed the test.  F/Lt. Shaw says they never comment on polygraph information, but did reiterate that at this time, Ally’s parents are not suspects.


“So, because it was done on national TV, the detectives had to do their due diligence and my husband volunteered to put this to rest.  And he has,” said Nikki.


F/Lt. Shaw says detectives are looking at 3 possible scenarios:

-The murder was totally random;

-or possibly Ally got into a road rage situation, and the driver fired shots – perhaps only intending to scare her;

-or the killer was someone she knew.


Sources tell the 7 Investigators that Sutherland took two lie detector tests for police.  The 31-year-old from Wixom spoke to Crime Watch Daily’s Chris Hansen about those polygraphs back in March.


“What were the results,” asked Hansen.

“They said that the first one was inconclusive.  And then they said I failed the second one,” said Sutherland.  

“And they specifically asked you – did you kill Ally.  How do you explain the fact that you failed the polygraph test when you’re asked did you kill [her],” asked Hansen.

“I don’t believe I failed. I believe it was an intimidation tactic,” said Sutherland, who says he was home alone at the time of Ally’s murder.


“It hurts to love someone as much as I loved Ally and to have people look at you that way is extremely painful,” said Sutherland.

“Did you kill Ally,” asked Hansen.

“Absolutely not,” said Sutherland.


Nikki Brueger says she and her husband only met Sutherland one time during Ally’s 2-year relationship with him. 


“You think that her parents are capable of killing her,” asked Hansen.

“I think that her father could be, yeah. The relationship that she had with her father was not good,” said Sutherland.


The Bruegers denied that, and called that allegation absurd and painful.


F/Lt. Shaw also says if Sutherland is trying to clear his name, he knows how to reach the detectives.


“I’ll never be the same, I’ll never be that same person. Never.  What happened that day has changed me forever. Half of my heart is gone,” said Nikki.


The Bruegers spoke to reporters Monday from VFW Post 5587 in Holly, and they thanked Franz’s fellow veterans for their continued support of their family.


Please call 1-855 MICH TIP if you have any information.


If you have a story for Heather, please email her at or call 248-827-4473.