LILLEY TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A West Michigan man killed his wife and adult son before fatally shooting himself, prompting an hours-long search of his property before his body was found, authorities said.
The body of Charles Mark Hoover, 59, was found Wednesday night inside the family’s home in Lilley Township, about 55 miles north of Grand Rapids, the Newaygo County sheriff’s department. Investigators said they believe he shot to death his wife Marcia and their son, who also was named Charles.
Authorities are trying to determine what led to the shootings, and the deaths are being investigated as a double murder-suicide.
“The whole situation is very unfortunate,” said Undersheriff Brian Boyd. “It’s very tragic that it ended this way, but we’re just glad that nobody else got hurt.”
Law enforcement had responded about 2 p.m. to the home following a report of a shooting and found the bodies of the 62-year-old wife and 37-year-old son outside. No vehicles were missing, and Charles Mark Hoover was believed to be on the property, which has several other buildings.
Officials set up a perimeter and used a loudspeaker to order anyone inside the home to come out.
A police robot used to clear the buildings on the property found his body, TV stations WZZM and WOOD reported. He had a single self-inflicted gunshot wound, the sheriff’s department said, and his body was found at the top of a stairway of the home.
“It was very tense,” Boyd said. “We weren’t even sure he was in the residence.”
Randy Smith, who lives across the street, told MLive.com he heard the sound of gunfire on Wednesday afternoon and police responded about five minutes later. He said he watched through binoculars as they found one body and was shocked by the violence.
“You just can’t believe this is happening,” Smith said.