Holland Man Accused in Cold-Case Killings of Sister and Brother-in-law 25 Years Ago

Ryan Mark Wyngarden, a 50-year-old Zeeland man, has been charged with killing his sister and brother-in-law 25 years ago, according to news reports at Mlive.com. On November 23, 1987, Gail and Rick Brink were shot and killed at their Park Township home located on Ransom Street. Wyngarden was arrested after a cold case team began investigating the incident in 2011.

Wyngarden’s wife, Pam Wyngarden, alleges that her husband had told her that he had killed his sister and her husband when the two were dating; she admitted in January of this year that her husband had committed the killings. Pamela Wyngarden told the courtroom that as time wore on, it became increasingly difficult to keep her husband’s secret. As recently as last year, Pam Wyngarden covered for her husband when Venus Repper and David Blakely, two Ottawa County sheriff’s detectives, came calling. She stuck to the story that she had told for years, that she and her husband were babysitting and doing laundry at a friend’s home when the murders took place.

Wyngarden will be kept in a room during courtroom proceedings according to news reports, after Holland District Judge Bradley Knoll tossed him out of the courtroom due to repeated outbursts as his wife testified. Wyngarden accused his wife of lying, saying that “I can’t believe you’re saying all these lies about me. You know it’s all lies.”

Pamela Wyngarden told the courtroom that she met her future husband shortly before the killings took place, and that he had told her the reason he killed his sister and her husband was that he was “upset” by their relationship. She alleged that Wyngarden had a sexual relationship with his sister when both were teens, and that he was afraid his sister would divulge those details to her new husband.

Rick Brink’s family discovered Gail Brink’s body on a bed with a pillow over her head after becoming concerned that their son had not shown up to work, and driving to the couple’s home. Later, Rick Brink’s body was found in his truck; both he and his wife had suffered gunshot wounds to the head.

Michigan murder attorneys know that without hard physical evidence, it is difficult to convict an individual on charges of murder. So far it appears that Wyngarden was arrested for the murder due to probable cause.


If you have been charged with homicide, first-degree murder or any serious or violent offense, it is critical that you seek the legal support and guidance of a seasoned Michigan criminal defense lawyer at once.