Detective: Cop hid in attic before murder
Posted by The Grand Rapids Press
January 25, 2008 11:15AM
Categories: Breaking News, DeKleine case, Top Stories
HOLLAND -- Officer Ken DeKleine first thought of murdering his wife the day she took out a restraining order against him. He carried out the plan earlier this month by hiding in the separated couple's attic overnight before he attacked her with a climbing strap and rubber gloves, a detective testified this morning.
Michigan State Police Detective Gary Miles said DeKleine confessed to killing Lori DeKleine, telling him Lori DeKleine told him to "think of the kids" as he was strangling her with the strap.
He replied to her: "I am thinking of the kids," said Miles, recounting DeKleine's confession.
Miles said DeKleine told him he "wanted to cause her death and kill her. He hoped to get away with it so he could spend his life with his children without her."
The DeKleines were going through a contentious divorce, and she filed for a personal protection order in late January 2007.
Miles said Ken DeKleine hatched a plan in December to kill her, then earlier this month went to her house in the middle of the night, lifted the garage door to get in, and hid in the attic above the garage in freezing temperatures until his teenage children left about 7:45 a.m.
When they did leave, he emerged, strangled Lori DeKleine with the strap during a struggle in the kitchen, then dragged her body into the basement and staged a scene to look like a suicide, police said.
DeKleine, whose shirt was bloody after Lori DeKleine bit his lip, tossed his sweatshirt and his shoes out the window as he drove to his apartment, Miles said.
He hid Lori DeKleine's shirt, which he also removed because it was stained with his blood, in her home's attic.
Ottawa County Medical Examiner Dr. David Start said Lori DeKleine had numerous bruises all over her body, indicating a severe struggle. She died of strangulation.
During today's hearing, Holland police Sgt. Jeff Velthouse began sniffling while talking about being called to the scene and finding Lori DeKleine's body. He had known both the husband and wife for years.