VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) - Police have released the identifies of the three people found dead in a house in Van Buren Township on Thursday morning.
The deceased have been identified as Linda Vanderlinden, 34, and her sons Julien, 7, and Matthew, 4.
They were found dead in their home after police went to the house on Anna to notify them that Michael Vanderlinden, Linda's husband, had been killed in a fatal head-on crash in Indiana earlier in the morning. Authorities said he was driving the wrong way at the time.
Police said Vanderlinden is suspected of killing his family before heading to Indiana.
"Sources are telling us that there might have been a strain in their marriage in the past few months and that Michael was in the process of moving out of their house," according to a news release from Van Buren police.
Vanderlinden was believed to have attempted suicide last year with pills and alcohol after police were called to the family's home November.
Emergency personnel had determined that Vanderlinden, 39, had grabbed his wife during an argument, according to Laurain.
Van Buren Police Capt. Greg Laurain said Vanderlinden pleaded with his wife, Linda Vanderlinden, 34, not to leave him. She ultimately returned, but Vanderlinden was taken to the hospital.
Laurain said the incident was not what might be considered an assault and that the Wayne County prosecutor decided not to press charges because of a lack of evidence.
Laurain said friends and family have indicated the Michael Vanderlinden might have been abusive, but it's unclear if that was verbal or physical abuse.
The bodies of Linda Vanderlinden and the Vanderlinden's children, Julien, 7, and Matthew, 4, were found in their own bedrooms Thursday morning after police went to notify Linda Vanderlinden that her husband had died. They found the door unlocked at the house and an 8 1/2 -inch butcher knife inside that police believe was used in the killings.
Laurain said Linda Vanderlinden's cause of death was strangulation and secondary stab wounds. The children died of multiple stab wounds to the chest and arms.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office has not determined when the killings occurred.
"While the husband Micheal is suspected of being responsible for the killings, we have not reached any conclusions at this time and our investigation continues," Laurain said.
Vanderlinden was last seen in his neighborhood about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.
He crashed head-on into a car on I-94 near Michigan City, Ind., while driving the wrong way early Thursday morning. The driver of the other car, Juan Nelson, 45, of Portage, Ind., was killed in the crash.
Laurain said that a witness told authorities that Vanderlinden was driving with his lights off.