David Madrigal Murder: Where are Christian Rasnick, Nicole O’Neill, and Timmy Lynn Soto Now

Detroit, Michigan was shocked to learn that a former firefighter had been found dead in his home by his son. David Madrigal, a beloved member of the community for his kindness and empathy, was killed in a brutal act of violence that was driven by greed. Investigation Discovery’s ‘On the Case With Paula Zahn: A Hero Betrayed’ dives deep into the case to bring forward the intrinsic case details of the investigation and how the perpetrators were finally caught by the police. Curious about the identity and current whereabouts of the perpetrator, we’ve you covered.

How did David Madrigal die?

David Madrigal Sr. is a Garden City resident in Wayne County, Michigan. The 59 year-old had been a Detroit firefighter for 26 decades and was assigned at Lawndale’s Engine 33, Ladder 13 station at the time. He was proud to be a grandfather and father to David Jr. and Christina. David loved his job deeply and was a very compassionate person. Apart from collecting toys for children and volunteering to help those without homes, David was also an active member of the Fire Department’s Honor Guard — which pays tribute to firefighters, who lost their lives on the line of duty, at their funerals.

Image credit: Detroit Firefighters Association

David was rightly referred to as “Super Dave” by those who knew him. David was planning on retiring at the time of the accident. He had even rented a Belle Isle Pavilion to his colleagues on June 12, 2016 for their retirement party. Mike, the President of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association, said, “He was a giver, an old soul. He was a kind and compassionate man. This is why it hurts so badly and why firefighters are so upset. He was just a good man, and a kind soul.”

As per Mike, David’s colleague last spoke with him on December 19, 2015, when the Fire Department had an event planned for firefighters to get together and wrap presents for children. He was supposed to attend, but he didn’t show up. David’s son, David Madrigal Jr., had called his father many times, but each time the call went to voice mail. A little concerned, he went to his father’s residence on the west side of the city to check up on him on December 21, 2015, at around 7:30 pm.

His father was found in his recliner by his son with a bloody facial expression. Madrigal Jr. said, “He was ice cold.” Initially thinking his father had shot himself because he had been living with depression for some time, Madrigal Jr. quickly changed his mind when he discovered that there was no gun and things missing, including a safe, from the residence. The upstairs bedroom had also been robbed. The police were immediately notified.

The authorities quickly arrived at the scene and began inspecting it. They also launched an investigation. Apart from the safe and other personal items, the victim’s black 2015 Ford Explorer was also missing. However, the authorities soon found out that David’s missing car had been discovered near an alley near the 3800 block of Bangor on December 19, 2015. The car was set ablaze and the Detroit Fire Department was called to extinguish the flames. As per the medical report, David’s cause of death was later determined to be blunt force trauma to the head.

Who Killed David Madrigal

Following a 3 month extensive investigation, the police arrested and charged Timmy Lynn Soto, then 32, Nicole O’ Neill, then 33, and Christian Anthony Rasnick, then 19, in the murder of David. Sgt. Lance Sullivan, later said, “This was a case that involved everything we do: DNA, forensic evidence, and people coming forward at the right time.”

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Image Credit: Detroit Police Department

During a lengthy investigation by police, Soto confessed. David had invited Soto to his home on December 19, 2015 for drinks. Soto was determined to rob David. He took Rasnick and Nicole with him. Soto said that David was allegedly touching Nicole and hitting on her. This behavior reportedly brought back “flashbacks” of Soto witnessing sexual abuse in the past, and it pushed him over the edge. Soto left David’s house at one point with Nicole to bring back drugs and returned to find David dozing off in his recliner. Soto proceeded to strike David twice in the head with a weight plate he found at David’s home and then proceeded to steal his safe.

The trio took off in David’s car with the safe that contained around $1500 in cash and two firearms. Soto drove the car to one of his friend’s basement, pried open the safe with a crowbar, split the cash, and proceeded to leave David’s car in an alley before setting it on fire.

Where are Christian Rasnick, Nicole O’Neill, and Timmy Lynn Soto Today?

All three of the assailants pleaded guilty in Wayne County to second-degree murder charges and were sentenced accordingly. Timmy Lynn Soto pleaded guilty in December to second-degree murder charges and felony firearms charges and was sentenced to 38 to 82 years in prison. He is currently incarcerated in Macomb Correctional Facility. Christian Anthony Rasnick pleaded guilty in October to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 10-30 years imprisonment on December 15, 2016. He was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment on January 15, 2019 for possession of a firearm while in jail. He is currently incarcerated at Oaks Correctional Facility.

Nicole O’ Neill pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20-50 years in prison on March 3, 2017. She is currently in Huron Valley Complex, with the earliest release scheduled for March 10, 2036.

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