Boy, 3, and father dead in murder-suicide near Lowell

Kent County

LOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A 3-year-old boy was killed and his father took his own life Wednesday in a home near Lowell, Kent County authorities say.

Sheriff’s deputies were sent to a home on Barnsley Road near Cumberland Avenue in Lowell Township, west of the city of Lowell, around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to conduct a welfare check. Inside, they found 3-year-old Dylan Thebo and his father Derek Thebo, 32, dead.

Sgt. Joy Matthews with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department says autopsies conducted Thursday ruled that Dylan Thebo’s death was a homicide and Derek Thebo’s death was suicide. Both died of gunshot wounds, the medical examiner said.

“A family member called our dispatch center saying that they were a little concerned about their family members, they had not heard from them in a couple of days,” Matthews said. 

The sheriff’s office said Thursday it was still investigating the murder-suicide. Deputies are making victim advocates available to the family.

“Those volunteers speak with the family regarding the grieving process, especially when it does involve children,” Matthews said.

Court records show the 3-year-old’s mother had a personal protection order against Derek Thebo earlier this year. It was filed on March 8 and officially terminated on March 22.

“If you need help, seek help. There are so many resources in Kent County that are available to assist you,” Matthews said. “If you feel your relatives or your neighbors or co-workers really need to speak with someone, please reach out.” 

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