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Chelios' business is site of stabbings

January 03, 2007|Eric Stephens

DETROIT — Two employees of a restaurant owned by Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios were found stabbed to death Tuesday morning and a former co-worker has been arrested in connection with the killings, police said.

Megan Soroka, 49, and Mark Barnard, 52, were killed as they prepared to open Cheli's Chili Bar, police said. Soroka worked as a manager there and Barnard was a cook.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings estimated the stabbings occurred at 9 a.m. Police arrested a 17-year-old who reportedly had been fired two weeks ago.

Chelios, the NHL's oldest player at 44, did not play in Tuesday night's game against the Ducks.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragedy that occurred at our establishment this morning. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims -- they were wonderful employees and part of our family," he said in a statement.

"We are cooperating fully with the Detroit Police Department in their investigation and are hopeful the perpetrator will be brought to justice in quick order. We appreciate the community's support at this difficult time."

In 2005, Chelios opened the restaurant in a three-story building across from Comerica Park. He has another location in nearby Dearborn.

A fan favorite and likely Hall of Famer, Chelios has spent the last seven full seasons of his 22-year career in Detroit.

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-- Eric Stephens

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