Apparent murder-suicide in NE Kent Co.

Courtland Township, homicide
Crews on the scene on 14 Mile Road NE in Courtland Township where a mother and son died in an apparent murder-suicide. (March 20, 2017)


COURTLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A mother and her adult son are dead after an apparent murder-suicide in northeastern Kent County.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department identified the mother and son as Gloria Launiere, 59, and 34-year-old David Applegate. Authorities said Tuesday they died from stab wounds.

Gloria Launiere
An undated courtesy photo of Gloria Launiere.

In a late Monday afternoon release, the sheriff’s office said “early investigation indicators all involved parties have been accounted for.” At the scene, Kent County Sheriff Lawrence Stelma confirmed the case appears to be a murder-suicide.

The sheriff’s office says it got a 911 call from a third-party family member around 2:24 p.m. asking for a welfare check on the family. Deputies arrived at the house on 14 Mile Road west of Ramsdell Drive NE in Courtland Township, northeast of Rockford, about six minutes later.

There, they found blood on the steps and Launiere’s body lying on the floor inside.

After hearing a noise, they found Applegate. He was alive but severely injured. He was rushed to a Grand Rapids hospital, where he died.

Sheriff Stelma said Applegate is believed to be the suspect and that the incident seems to have been a domestic situation, though the underlying cause is unknown.

“It’s very horrific. It’s very unusual,” Stelma said. “Until we can talk to everybody and try to figure out what was going on within the family, we’ll never know.”

Courtland Township, murder suicide
Crews on the scene on 14 Mile Road NE in Courtland Township where a mother and son died in an apparent murder-suicide. (March 20, 2017)

Stelma said deputies had been called to the house before, but only a couple of times in the last decade.

“Both times for rather nondescript law enforcement issues, but this has not been a site of frequent domestics or other officer contact,” Stelma said.

Authorities say Launiere and Applegate lived at the house with Launiere’s husband, who is Applegate’s stepfather. That man was not home when the incident happened.

Neighbors don’t appear to have heard anything and none of them reported the incident.