Waterproofing business, breakup at heart of homicide outside Ann Arbor-area gym
ANN ARBOR, MI — A waterproofing business and a recent breakup were at the heart of a homicide in Washtenaw County earlier this year, according to records released by police.
Michael Anthony Elinski, 59, was found dead Friday, Jan. 20, the day after police said he shot his former girlfriend. Records obtained by the MLive/The Ann Arbor News from the Pittsfield Township Police Department through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal a waterproofing business, a breakup and mental health struggles were factors in the fatal shooting.
Andrea Grant, 50, of Plymouth, was found dead in her car outside Thrive Training Facility physical training center in the 3700 block of Plaza Drive on Thursday, Jan. 19. Grant had been shot eight times, according to a medical examiner’s report — twice in the neck and head and six times in the body.
Michael Elinski, Grant’s former boyfriend, was quickly identified by police as the suspect.
“I’m not here to defend him in any way, shape or form,” Kyle Elinski, Michael Elinski’s son, told MLive/The Ann Arbor News. His dad was a good person to a lot of people, but struggled with mental health issues, he said.
Other members of Michael Elinski’s family declined to comment. Family members of Grant did not respond to requests for comment.
Michael Elinski grew up in Detroit and graduated from Cody High School, according to Kyle Elinski. He served in the U.S. Army in the 1980s and launched his waterproofing company roughly 15 years ago. Kyle Elinski took over the company in 2017.
Grant was best known for how much she loved her two daughters, according to an obituary published by Schrader-Howell Funeral Home.
“Whether it was being selected as homecoming queen, earning a softball scholarship, being a director of a ‘Fortune 100′ company, or getting a new company up and off the ground — Andrea was a rockstar,” her obituary reads. “She was one of a kind that could juggle two laptops, three phones, a volleyball schedule, family functions, and workout regimen all while making time to keep in touch with all she loved and supported.”
The pair met several years ago when Grant reached out to Michael Elinski’s company to get her basement waterproofed, according to the police report. The pair started dating shortly after and Grant soon joined the company, the report states. She became the owner in 2021, according to LARA documents.
The pair had an outwardly happy relationship, Kyle Elinski told police, but his father had increasingly struggled with mental health issues. Michael Elinski had blocked family members he typically had a close relationship with from his cell phone, and had been leaving “obsessive” voicemails and text messages for Grant, his son said.
Despite a declining mental health situation, Michael Elinski’s friends and family attempted to get him help, according to the police report.
Grant’s personal trainer at Thrive told police she had often talked with Grant about her relationship, saying that Grant had said she was worried about Elinksi’s emotional stability, according to the police report.
Grant broke up with Michael Elinski in June 2022, according to a personal protection order she filed against him.
“(Michael Elinski) has always had an unpredictable and volatile personality, but over the last year and especially in the last six months, things have spiraled out of control,” Grant wrote in her request for the order.
In the request, she also cited previous physical abuse Elinksi perpetuated against former partners and how he harassed employees, contractors, friends and family.
Grant, now the sole owner of the company, fired Michael Elinski roughly five weeks before police said he killed her, the police report states. Megan Elinski, Michael Elinski’s daughter, told police the firing was because of how “mean and disrespectful her father was,” investigators wrote in the report.
The day after police said he shot Grant, Michael Elinksi was found dead in his car in Clare. His death was ruled a suicide, according to the police report. He was living in Brooklyn, Michigan, at the time.
Kyle Elinski said he hopes Grant’s daughters are eventually able to find peace.
“(Grant) was trying to help my dad all the way to the end. She was never giving up on him; she just wanted to give him help,” Kyle Elinski said. “She did all that she could. She did so much for him. It’s just unexplainable how much she tried.”
He encouraged those who are struggling with mental health issues to reach out.
“It’s OK to get help,” he said. “It’s OK to talk to somebody and talk to somebody often.”
Anyone experiencing thoughts of suicide can seek help from:
- The 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988
- The Ozone House, a 24-hour hotline for youth, at 734-662-2222.
- The 24-hour hotline at University of Michigan Psychiatric Emergency Services at 734-936-5900.
- The Washtenaw County Community Mental Health crisis team at 734-544-3050.
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