Bond increased by millions for man charged in West Chester woman’s death

Bond was increased Wednesday morning during the arraignment of a Liberty Twp. man indicted on multiple charges in the death of Ellen “Ellie” Weik, who was found dead in a Millikin Road field last month.

MORE: West Chester woman found dead reported ‘harassing text message’ earlier in the year

Michael Strouse, of 6054 Bluffs Drive, was indicted Tuesday morning for aggravated murder, murder, three counts of tampering with evidence, menacing by stalking, petty theft, abuse of a corpse, and gross abuse of a corpse.

Strouse appeared Wednesday in Butler Count Common Pleas Court with attorneys Kyle Rapier and Jeff Bowling who entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Judge Greg Howard set Strouse’s bond at $4 million, an increase from the $2 million bond set in the lower court before the indictment was handed down.

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He is scheduled to be back in court next month for a pretrial hearing.

Michael Strouse of Liberty Twp. was arraigned Wednesday, Sept. 5, in Butler County Common Pleas Court for allegedly killing Ellen “Ellie” Weik of West Chester Twp.  (NICK GRAHAM/STAFF)

Strouse had been stalking Weik since the beginning of the year, according to the indictment.

“On or about Jan. 1, 2018 through July 29, 2018 … Michael Strouse did by engaging in a pattern of conduct knowingly cause Ellen Christine Weik to believe the offender will cause physical harm … or cause mental distress,” the indictment states.

MORE: Missing West Chester Twp. woman died of asphyxiation, according to court documents

Strouse is accused of trespassing on the premises of where Weik “lives, is employed or attends school,” according to the indictment.

Weik filed a police report in February stating she had received a “harassing text message” from an unknown person, according to police. Police have not said if Strouse was a suspect in that incident.

West Chester Police say Strouse, 29, is responsible for the death of Weik at his Liberty Twp. home, located about one-quarter of a mile from the field where her body was found. Strouse was charged with murder on Aug. 25.

Weik, 23, went missing from her West Chester Twp. home on July 29. Her mother reported her missing Aug. 1, according to the West Chester Police missing person’s report.

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