Family: Woman dead, grandma hurt in attack

Michigan State Police at the scene of a fatal stabbing in Wayland Township. (June 25, 2014)

WAYLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A woman was killed and her grandmother severely wounded south of Wayland Wednesday. A teen family member is accused in crime, family members said.

It happened at a residence in the 3000 block of 10th Street in Allegan County’s Wayland Township. Michigan State Police, the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department and the Wayland Police Department were first called there around 12:45 p.m. after a 911 call of an assault in progress, MSP said.

A male suspect outside the residence tried to run when police arrived but was soon arrested, according to MSP.

“As the officers entered the residence, a female victim with a very severe injury to her neck was discovered and was given medical treatment,” MSP Lt. Patrick Boyd said. “Looking around the inside of the home, an additional female victim was discovered in the lower level of the home that was deceased.”

The woman found dead in the lower level of the home was 21-year-old Kassandra Keyzer, family members told 24 Hour News 8. According to her Facebook page, Kassandra Keyzer was set to get married in July.

Kassandra Keyzer. (Courtesy Facebook.)
(Kassandra Keyzer – courtesy Facebook.)

Both women sustained long cuts to the neck that appeared to be from a sharp object, MSP said.

The wounded woman — Keyzer’s grandmother Sharon, family members said — was taken to a Grand Rapids hospital. Family members told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday evening that Sharon Keyzer was out of surgery. They were allowed to speak to her briefly. Hospital officials told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday morning she was upgraded to serious condition.

A source told 24 Hour News 8 the alleged attacker is a teenage boy who is related to the two victims. The source said the suspect is Sharon Keyzer’s grandson and Kassandra Keyzer’s cousin.

“When they (officers) observed the suspect initially upon arrival, he was very suspicious,” Lt. Boyd said. “And when he saw them, he ran. It was maybe 75 to 100 feet he ran before the troopers were actually able to apprehend him, secure him. And then they were able to determine in a few minutes that he was a suspect and responsible for what had occurred inside the residence.”

The suspect was also hospitalized with minor injuries before being jailed, but the origin those injuries is unknown. It’s unclear whether they were self-inflicted.

A knife was recovered at the scene, MSP said, but it’s unclear whether that was the only weapon used.

Friends of the woman who survived the attack were left in disbelief.

“Very sweet, gentle lady. You just fell in love with her when you got to know Sharon,” said longtime friend Roxie Dandrow.

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