Neighbors say officer charged with killing his wife had restraining order against him
WZZM News / Channel 13
Created: 1/11/2008 9:19:39 PM
Updated: 1/12/2008 11:39:51 PM
Holland – While a Holland police officer sits in jail, new information sheds light on a marriage neighbors say was falling apart.
Police arrested Officer Ken DeKleine for killing his wife Thursday night in the couple's home.Police say on January 10th they responded to a medical emergency in the 200 block of Calvin Avenue. When they arrived at the home they found 43-year-old Lori DeKleine dead in the basement.
At first it was thought Lori DeKleine committed suicide, but police say the evidence pointed elsewhere."
Based on the evidence that investigators had and the interview, Ken DeKleine was charged with open murder," says Holland Police Chief John Kruithoff.
Kruithoff says the couple had been having marital problems, which Ken DeKleine had been open and honest about.
"Ken's been very open about the difficulties he's had with his wife, it's not a secret, and the results of this event are very shocking and disturbing to us."
The chief says it's been difficult for everyone involved, including his police force. "When people find out about this, it will be disturbing to everyone who knows Ken, because this absolutely is a person you wouldn't expect this from."
Neighbors agree, but say they shouldn't be surprised. Saturday, a neighbor close to the DeKleines told WZZM 13 News their marital problems had been on-going. She says Ken DeKleine moved out of the home in February 2007 and Lori had taken a restraining order out against him.
"I do know she was a little scared of him," says the neighbor. "There was a restraining order, he did violate that once."
Ken DeKleine was taken into custody Friday and charged with open murder. He will be arraigned in the 58th District Court on those charges Monday. The Ottawa County Prosecutor and investigators will also meet Monday to determine more specific charges.
Saturday afternoon family gathered outside the home, knowing first and foremost they need to take care of Ken and Lori's children Bre and Chris; both students at Holland Christian High School.
"Both sides of the family have come together and are really trying to work through this and make sure they're doing what's in the best interest of the kids," says Brad Ward, a spokesman for the family.
And in the face of tragedy, Lori's neighbor also knows the teenagers need support more than anything."(Lori) lived through her children, absolutely loved them. Just keep them real close to your heart, and many prayers for them because they're going to need them."
Ken DeKleine is a 1987 graduate of Calvin College. He recently served a one year tour in Iraq as an international police liaison officer. Lori DeKleine is a 1986 graduate from Calvin College and worked at Holland Heights Christian Reformed Church.
Visitation for DeKleine begins Sunday from 2:00p.m. to 4:00p.m., and from 7:00p.m. To 9:00p.m. at the Holland Heights Christian Reformed Church.
Her memorial service will be Monday at 1:00p.m.