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Michigan Resident Accused of Murdering Man He Met on Grindr

Mark Latunski and Kevin Bacon
From left: suspect Mark Latunski and victim Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon left to meet a Grindr acquaintance Christmas Eve and was found dead four days later. Mark Latunski is accused of killing him.

A Michigan man has been charged with the murder of a man he met on the gay dating and hookup app Grindr.

Mark Latunski, 50, was arraigned Monday on charges of murder and mutilation in the death of Kevin Bacon, 25, a hairstylist and college student who was last seen alive Christmas Eve, NBC News reports. Bacon lived in Swartz Creek, Mich., near Flint.

Bacon had told his roommate Christmas Eve that he was going to meet a man he'd met on Grindr. He was reported missing after he did not show up at his parents' house in Flint Christmas Day. Police found his body Saturday in Bloomfield Township, more than 20 miles from his home. They described the body as "mutilated" but declined to provide other details.

"He passed away some time [late] Christmas Eve, early Christmas morning," the victim's father, Karl Bacon, said at a Sunday press conference, according to MLive, a site for several Michigan newspapers. "The medical examiner is not sure of the exact time as of right now."

There have been several other crimes related to Grindr meetings, including another murder in Michigan last year. The app offers a list of safety guidelines for users.

Latunski, who lives in the area where Kevin Bacon's body was found, has a history of mental illness, MLive reports. His former wife, Emily Latunski, had filed a motion in court in August seeking to suspend his access to their children. The motion stated that he had been diagnosed several years ago with major depression, paranoid schizophrenia, and characteristics of a personality disorder, and has often failed to take prescribed medication. He had been arrested in July for failing to pay child support and spent four days in jail.

Mark Latunski is now married to a man, Jamie Arnold. Arnold said he wasn't aware that Latunski suffered from mental illness until he began behaving strangely last summer. Latunski claimed his children with his former wife weren't his own and that his and Arnold's neighbors were polluting their water.

"To my knowledge, I couldn't force him to see a therapist or take medication," Arnold, who separated from Latunski in September, told MLive. "Never in a million years did I think he'd be capable of doing such a horrendous crime." The men had married in 2015 after meeting on Grindr.

"In hindsight, it's easy to sit back and speculate but at the time you're going through it there are emotions and feelings involved," Arnold continued. "You don't want to think that the person you fell in love with is some crazy homicidal maniac. I pray that God is there for Kevin Bacon's family in their time of need and that he helps us all get through this, one day at a time."

Bacon was the subject of warm remembrances. He was a hairstylist at Uniquely U Salon in Swartz Creek and was attending the University of Michigan-Flint. He had ranked in the top 10 in his graduating class from Swartz Creek High School in 2013. "He was too smart for his own good, they said," noted his mother, Pamela Bacon.

"He was a very good hairstylist. He had a natural talent for it," his father told MLive. "He was a very joyful person, very sociable person, and everybody who knew him enjoyed being around him. He will be greatly missed, not only by us but by all his friends and family."

Bacon also received attention from celebrities, including one who shares his name. The actor Kevin Bacon posted one on Instagram.

And YouTube makeup guru Jeffree Star, of whom the victim was a fan, donated $20,000 to a GoFundMe campaign set up to help with funeral expenses.

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