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Tag Archive | "murder-suicide"

Mom shoots girls then self in murder-suicide



By Judy Reed

Residents in the greater Cedar Springs area and the surrounding communities of Sand Lake and Howard City are trying to make sense of the tragedy in Solon Township this week where a mother shot her three young children and then killed herself. 

Police at the scene of the shooting in the 200 block of 19 Mile Road.
Post photo by J. Reed.

The chilling call came in to dispatch on Monday, shortly after 3 p.m. The caller reported a shooting in the 200 block of 19 Mile Rd in Solon Township, with a possible four victims. When police arrived on the scene, they found Aubrianne Moore, 28, down in the driveway, and her three children—Kyrie Rodery, 8, Cassidy Rodery, 6, and Alaina Rau, 2—dead in the car. 

The Kent County Medical Examiner said they all died of gunshot wounds.

Once police searched the premises, they knew that there must be a second crime scene where the children were killed. They asked the public to report to them if they had seen her car between noon and 3 p.m. that day. They soon discovered the second crime scene nearby, a field in the 300 block of 19 Mile Rd.

Moore had reportedly picked up the two girls from their schools in Sand Lake and Howard City, and later driven them to the field. Police said that evidence showed that she had shot the girls with a bolt-action hunting-style rifle, then loaded their bodies back into the car, and drove home. She then got out of the car and turned the gun on herself.

According to a report on WOODTV8, Moore suffered from hallucinations and paranoia, and a social worker had petitioned for her to be treated at Forest View Psychiatric Hospital last fall. She reportedly did agree to receive treatment there.

Sheriff Lajoye-Young said there was not a suicide note, but investigators found notes she had written recently saying that the only way to protect the children was to kill them.

Tri County Area Schools Superintendent Allen Cumings sent out a letter to the parents and communities saying that two of the sisters killed—Cassidy and Kyrie Rodery—were Tri County students. Cassidy was a first grader at MacNaughton Elementary, and Kyrie was a third grader at Sand Lake Elementary.

Cassidy’s teacher, Mrs. Kelley, said that she was a friend to everyone, a hard worker, and was always on task. Kyrie was a sweet girl who enjoyed playing and being active. Her teacher, Mrs. Schnepp, said that Kyrie  “loved to read, always volunteered to help others, her classmates loved her, and that she was a good friend.”

Tri County’s crisis team members were available at the two schools to help students, staff and parents. The letter said they would be available to middle and high school students as well.

“We hurt and mourn with the loss of these precious students,” wrote Cumings. “Please keep the family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this time.”

Cedar Springs Public Schools Superintendent Scott Smith told the Post that while the tragic events that touched the Cedar Springs community did not directly involve any of their students, their crisis team was ready to support students and staff who may have been connected in some way to the tragedy.

The family of Kyrie and Cassidy will greet friends Friday from 5-7 pm at the Bliss-Witters & Pike Funeral Home, Cedar Springs. A private graveside service will be held on Saturday.

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Missing principal and son found dead 


George Heckman

A missing elementary principal and his adult son were found dead in a vehicle in rural Montcalm County on Tuesday, June 20.

According to the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post, their deaths are being investigated as a murder-suicide.

George Heckman, 52, the principal at Pewamo Elementary, part of the Pewamo-Westphalia Community Schools District, was reported missing Monday after missing a 7 p.m. board meeting. The district lies in both Clinton and Ionia Counties, and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office led the missing person’s investigation.

Heckman and his son, Grant Heckman, 28, were found in a van on a dirt two-track off of Tow Road, near Boyer Road, in Bushnell Township. Michigan State Police East Lansing Crime Lab assisted members of the MSP Lakeview Post with processing the scene.

Police said that preliminary autopsy results revealed that both George and Grant Heckman died of gunshot wounds and evidence indicates that George Heckman’s wound was self-inflicted.

Grant Heckman reportedly had cerebral palsy and was wheelchair-bound.

Besides serving as principal at Pewamo Elementary, George Heckman had also been special education director there, and was vice-president of the board of Austin’s House, located in Westphalia, whose mission it was to “develop and provide secure long-term residential services responsive to the needs of persons with disabilities,” according to the group’s website.

Heckman was also due to become Superintendent of Pewamo-Westphalia Community Schools in 10 days, when the current Superintendent leaves for Allendale Public Schools.

The case is still under investigation.

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Two die in murder-suicide


Gloria Launiere was found dead in her home Monday, after being stabbed by her son. Photo from her Facebook page.

Gloria Launiere was found dead in her home Monday, after being stabbed by her son. Photo from her Facebook page.

The Kent County Sheriff Department responded to a home in Courtland Township Monday and found a woman dead and her son injured.

Police were dispatched to the 9200 block of 14 Mile Road, on Monday, March 20, about 2:24 p.m., after receiving a 9-1-1 call from a third party asking them to do a welfare check. When they arrived, they went inside and found Gloria Launiere, 59, deceased. Soon after they found her son, David Applegate, 34 seriously injured. Both had been stabbed.

Applegate was transported to Butterworth Hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

Police believe that Applegate killed his mother, then stabbed himself.

No other information is being released at this time.

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