GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A man found murdered in his home in northeast Grand Rapids was shot in the head, according to the Kent County medical examiner.
John Dahlinger, 56, was found unresponsive by his longtime girlfriend in his home on Krislin Drive NE on the evening of Oct. 16.
Kent County Medical Examiner Stephen Cohle found a bullet wound in the side of Dahlinger's head -- an injury that contributed to his death -- 24 Hour News 8 learned Tuesday.
Dahlinger also sustained blunt force trauma to the face and head, Cohle told 24 Hour News 8 last week.
Police said Tuesday that they expect the investigation in to Dahlinger's homicide to be lengthy.
"We're trying to establish a timeline for the victim -- trying to fill in the blanks of who saw him and who was the last person that actually saw him," GRPD Capt. Jeffrey Hertel told 24 Hour News 8.
But, he said, they're still working to identify that person.
And other than that, police are keeping details of the investigation close to the vest.
Dahlinger appears to have been a stand-up guy. He was a board member of Paws with a Cause and spent free time at the Blythefield Country Club.
"He's got a big family. He's got grown-up kids and they would come and they'd bring their SUVs and I think they weren't used to townhouse living," Dahlinger's neighbor Rob Ellis told 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday.
When Dahlinger and his longtime girlfriend first moved in, there were big parties, his neighbor said.
"But he calmed down and blended in very well," Ellis said.
Dahlinger became a member of the neighborhood board.
But someone wanted him dead.
"All of a sudden, he's gone," Ellis said, who added he didn't see anything strange near Dahlinger's house the night he died.
Another neighbor told 24 Hour News 8 that she noticed a man she had never seen before banging urgently on Dahlinger's door loudly the day he was found. She said the man walked around the house and then back to the front door, banging again.
Police have said Dahlinger's murder doesn’t appear to have been a random act, but they haven’t released any information about a possible suspect or motive.
"I'm just concerned," Ellis said. "I hope they find this person because he's out there. He did this for a reason that was horrible. He needs to be taken off the streets."
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