Mom of murdered daughter: Not a murder-suicide

Gary Volkers and Stacey Grotenhuis (file photos)

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Four days after their bodies were discovered more than 80 miles apart, the deaths of a father and daughter remain a mystery.

But there’s one theory that the woman’s mother cannot believe: That it was a murder-suicide.

“It’s the wondering right now, the horror, the shock of the situation,” Stacey Grotenhuis’s mom, Karen Jarrell, told 24 Hour News 8 on Thursday.

State police have said they are investigating whether the deaths of Grotenhuis, 31, and her 59-year-old father, Gary Volkers, were a murder-suicide.

Grotenhuis’s mom, who was never married to Volkers, says that would make no sense.

“We’re just flabbergasted, and I’m just heartbroken over the whole thing,” she said. “Until police can give us more information, which right now, we’ve  been given none, I don’t know what to think, you know?  But I refuse to believe that her own father would kill her then take his own life.”

Police found Volkers’ body early Sunday afternoon not far from his vehicle along a rural road in LeRoy, north of Reed City in Osceola County.

About six hours later, they found his daughter’s body in the home they shared at Crystal Waters Condominiums off Riley Street near US-31 in Holland Township. Police say there was no sign of a struggle.

State police won’t say how they died, and while they still aren’t labeling it a murder-suicide, they’ve said they are not looking for a killer.

Volkers was a long-distance truck driver who’d been on leave since eye surgery this summer.

“He was the most laid-back, easy-going person, never, ever in a fight, never, ever in jail, never, ever any altercations with police,” Jarrell said.

His daughter recently returned from South Dakota to take care of him and help her mother, who recently was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“She loved him, he loved her,” Jarrell said.

Jarrell said she hopes that the delay in releasing more details is a sign that police are looking at something other than murder-suicide.

“I think it’s a double-homicide,” she said. “I very well want the waters cleared. I don’t want Gary going down looking like this because I don’t believe it for a second and the rest of the world needs to know that, too. I don’t comprehend that he could have done this.”

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