City man held in murder case in Michigan

How does a man described as a good neighbor and loving father end up a suspect in a double murder in which the victims may be his relatives?

That's what those who know city resident Johan A. Vanniekerk are wondering since two bodies were found in a Marshall, Mich., Comfort Inn around 5:30 p.m. Friday. Vanniekerk, 40, was preliminarily charged with two counts of murder and an immigration violation Sunday and was being held without bond at the Calhoun County Jail. He was scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. today at 10th District Court in Battle Creek, Mich.

Fort Wayne Police believe Vanniekerk drove to Marshall with his mother and one of his three young daughters after being accused of beating his wife, Donna J. Vanniekerk, according to a news release from Officer John Chambers, a Fort Wayne Police spokesman. Police have not said why Vanniekerk stopped in Marshall, a town of about 7,300 located about 90 miles north of Fort Wayne.


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