Elderly Westland man accused of beating bride-to-be to death

WESTLAND, Mich. (WXYZ) - An elderly Westland man is expected to face murder charges after police say his long-time girlfriend was beaten to death.

Orlando Caruso, 78, is in Wayne County Jail for an aggravated assault charge. Police say he beat Diane Labute, 71, and called 9-1-1 on New Years Eve when she became unresponsive. Labute was resuscitated by medics on the way to the hospital and kept on life support. She passed away early this morning.

Westland Police tell Action News the couple had been together for 7 years and were planning to get married on Labute's birthday in April. Labute had moved into Caruso's home in the 6600-block of Chirrewa St in Westland a few months ago to save money, according to investigators.

Detectives believe Caruso became controlling, forcing Labute to miss Christmas with her family.

"The family had tried to get in touch with her, but for whatever reason was not able to get in touch with her," said Lt. Todd Adams.

Caruso is currently being held on $500,000 cash bond. He is expected back in front of a judge on January 16. Police expect the prosecutor to upgrade the charges to murder at that time.

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