Van Buren Township Family Found Dead Upon Attempted Notification of Death of Michael VanDerLinden

A Van Buren Township man, Michael VanDerLinden, died in a fiery crash in Indiana on August 16th. When police went to his residence in an attempt to notify his family, they were found dead. VanDerLinden was involved in a car crash after he entered Interstate 94 in northwestern Indiana and drove east in westbound lanes, causing a deadly head-on crash. The driver of the other vehicle, 45-year-old Juan Nelson Jr., was killed also.

Van Buren Township police went to VanDerLinden’s suburban Detroit home to notify his wife and family later that same day, but got no answer at the door, which was standing ajar. Upon entering the home, VanDerLinden’s wife and two young sons dead inside. Linda VanDerLinden and her sons, 4-year-old Matthew and 7-year-old Julien, had been stabbed multiple times with a butcher knife. Reports also stated that Linda had been strangled.

Michael VanDerLinden was 39 years old; police were speculating after discovering the bodies of his family members on whether he may have killed them, then committed suicide by driving in the wrong direction and in the process taking an innocent man’s life. In November of 2011 firefighters were called to the residence after what may have been a suicide attempt when Michael VanDerLinden had taken some pills.

Captain Gregory Laurain of the Van Buren Township police stated that VanDerLinden not only drove the wrong way on the interstate, but had his headlights turned off as well, even though it was approximately 1:30 a.m. when the accident occurred.

Witness statements taken by police indicated that there had been strain and alleged abuse in the marriage. Laurain said that a former coworker and neighbor of Linda VanDerLinden stated that she had mentioned strain in the marriage, but had not clarified whether the abuse was verbal or physical. Even though the entire family died, police were continuing to investigate the murders of Linda VanDerLinden and her two sons.

Michigan criminal defense lawyers know that in this sad and unfortunate case, police may never know if Michael VanDerLinden did in fact murder his family.


Whether innocent or guilty, those arrested for murder or homicide must have capable legal counsel in order for their legal rights and future to be protected. Consult with a skilled and aggressive Michigan murder defense attorney immediately if you have been charged with a serious criminal offense.