Police officer held for murder of wife
Lori DeKleine found dead in home; Holland's Ken DeKleine faces open murder charges
Saturday, January 12, 2008
A Holland police officer is in custody under suspicion of murdering his wife, according to police.
Lori DeKleine, 43, was found dead in her basement when paramedics responded to a medical emergency just before 7 p.m. Thursday at her home at 229 Calvin Ave.
Her husband, Officer Ken DeKleine, was arrested Friday evening. He will be arraigned on an open murder charge Monday in Holland District Court.
Holland Police Chief John Kruithoff said Friday night that he was aware the DeKleines were having marital problems. He said that for the past several months, DeKleine had not been living with Lori and their two children and that the separation had a "traumatic impact" on DeKleine.
The couple was in the process of getting a divorce, he said.
Kruithoff said this event has come as a shock to the department.
"He always shared his personal issues, but with this he obviously suppressed his feelings," he said. "Because if we had seen alarms going off, we would have taken action."
The specific cause of death was not released.
The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office and Michigan State Police are investigating the death because the accused is a Holland police officer. Sheriff Gary Rosema could not be reached for comment.
Investigators found several inconsistencies at the scene, a police statement said. After inspecting evidence and conducting interviews, they took DeKleine into custody Friday.
The death was ruled a homicide after an autopsy was performed Friday, according to a statement.
An 13-year veteran of the department, DeKleine also spent most of 2005 in Iraq, training police officers there.
Kruithoff said DeKleine had never been charged with domestic violence and that the only discipline against him during his time as an officer with the Holland police was "a couple of cruiser accidents."
In a 2005 interview, Kruithoff said DeKleine was a well-respected and well-liked member of the department, calling DeKleine, "caring," "compassionate" and a "great cook."
DeKleine was a 2nd lieutenant in the National Guard but resigned in 1994 to join the Holland Police Department.
On at least two occasions, DeKleine told reporters the hardest part of his experience in Iraq was being away from his wife and two teenage children, Bre and Christopher.
In a 2006 interview, Lori DeKleine said she recorded all of the children's activities while her husband was in Iraq.
"Not being able to share them with Ken -- that was hard," she said.
Victim: Lori DeKleine, 43. She was a member of Holland Heights Christian Reformed Church and worked at the church as publications editor.
Suspect: Ken DeKleine, Holland police officer.
Facts: Lori DeKleine's body was found Thursday in the basement at 229 Calvin Ave. in Holland. An investigation by the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office and Michigan State Police determined the death was a homicide. Ken DeKleine was taken into custody Friday.
What's next: Ken DeKleine will be arraigned Monday in Holland District Court.
Marriage status: Holland Police Chief John Kruithoff said Friday night that he was aware the DeKleines were having marital problems.
Quote: "He always shared his personal issues, but with this he obviously suppressed his feelings. Because if we had seen alarms going off, we would have taken action," Kruithoff said.
Obituary: Lori DeKleine's obituary is on A5.