Published On: Mon, Jun 6th, 2016

Michigan police on Mark Elferdink, Hope Elferdink murder suicide, may never know motive

Investigators believe an off-duty Calhoun County Sheriff’s deputy Mark Elferdink shot his wife, Hope, outside their Emmett Township home before turning the gun on himself. Sheriff Matt Saxton confesses that the office didn’t “see this coming” and a motive may not ever be determined.

Mark Elferdink, 43, and Hope, 38, were found behind their home Sunday after a family member called 911 around 8 a.m.

Emmett Township Public Safety Director Mike Olson said detectives found four spent shells and one live round on the ground near the couple’s bodies.

Olson believes the 40-caliber shells did not come from Mark’s service weapon.



Photo/CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS / @CSI?cafe via wikimedia commons

Photo/CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS / @CSI?cafe via wikimedia commons

Saxton said he had not received any complaints from Hope or Mark during their divorce proceedings.

Saxton said Mark was an 18-year veteran of the department whom he knew well. He said their children attended the same school district.

“I never saw this coming,” said Saxton.

“Saturday morning’s phone call was a phone call I never expected to get,” he later added. “We here at the sheriff’s office are trying to make sense of a senseless act, I’m trying to make sense of a senseless act. I’m going through a wide array of emotions, from anger to sadness. My heart goes out to the family and to those kids that are left behind.”

Saxton said Mark had no disciplinary issues in his file.

Olson said Emmett Township officers had never been called to the couple’s home before the shootings.

Olson said the investigation is ongoing, but some answers may never come.

“We’ll put as many pieces of this puzzle together as we can,” he added.

“We may never know the whys but we will continue to look into in hopes of this type of incident not occurring in the future,” Saxton said.

Investigators said Mark has a son in the Marine Corps who was overseas at the time of the crime.

The Elferdinks have a 13-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son who were hosting a sleepover at the time of the shooting, neighbors said.

Olson said the couple’s children were inside the home, presumably sleeping. One child told officers they heard a noise around 1 a.m. but didn’t see anything and went back to bed, Olson said.

“Our heart truly aches for the young kids left behind,” Saxton said.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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