True crime

Man charged over Grindr Christmas Eve murder and mutilation case

Murder victim Kevin Bacon
Victim Kevin Bacon (Photo: Facebook)

A Michigan man has been charged with the murder and mutilation of another man that he arranged to hook-up with via Grindr on Christmas Eve.

Mark Latunski, 50, of Bennington Township, MI, was arraigned in 66th District Court Monday, Dec. 30. He is charged with the murder and subsequent mutilation of Kevin Bacon, a hairdresser, aged 25, of Swartz Creek, MI.

Bacon told his roommate, Michelle Myers, that he was meeting up with a man at around 5pm on Christmas Eve. He said they’d arranged to meet via Grindr, reports Lansing State Journal.

Related: Three men used Grindr to target brutal homophobic attacks

Later, Myers received a text from Bacon’s phone saying he was having fun and might not be back for a while. However, when he failed to show up for breakfast on Christmas Day, his family became concerned. They contacted police later that day.

Police later found Bacon’s car abandoned in a Swartz Creek-area parking lot. The car keys were missing, but they found a bag of clothes, a phone, and a wallet in the vehicle.

On Dec. 28, police found Bacon’s body in Latunski’s house, 25 miles west of Flint. The body had been mutilated.

Mark Latunski
Mark Latunski (Photo: Shiawassee County Jail)

If found guilty, Latunski faces life in prison.

At a press conference, Bacon’s father criticized Grindr for not reacting quickly enough to their requests for help, reported MLive Michigan.

“They didn’t give us any info during the initial investigation,’ said Karl Bacon. “That was our biggest obstacle in this investigation. We did not know where he was going and who he was meeting with.

“If he had relayed that information early on, it may not have been avoided, but it could have been accelerated a lot quicker if we knew who and where.”

Grindr issued a statement saying, “We at Grindr are heartbroken to hear about this terrible tragedy, and share our condolences with Mr Bacon’s family and friends. While for privacy reasons we do not offer public comment on individual user accounts, we remain fully committed to working with law enforcement in the event of any investigation.”

Bacon’s family launched a GoFundMe to help pay for his funeral costs. A hairstylist studying psychology at the University of Michigan-Flint, Bacon was a fan of makeup vlogger Jeffree Star, and even had tattoos of the YouTuber.

Star was among the first to contribute to the crowdfunder, contributing $20,000.

Related: Jeffree Star named one of YouTube’s top five earners in 2019

Star tweeted on Saturday: “RIP KEVIN 😥 I’m devastated to hear of the passing of someone from Michigan who lived their life fearlessly and was taken too soon.”

Also sending condolences was the Hollywood actor, Kevin Bacon (no relation). He posted to Instagram: “For obvious reasons I’m thinking this morning about the friends and family of this young person Kevin Bacon.

“His life was taken from him much too soon. His love was hair dressing. I bet he would have done a great job on this mess on my head. RIP KB.”