Wayne County Medical examiner: Van Buren Township mother was strangled, 2 boys died from stab wounds

Linda Vanderlinden, 2 sons found dead; Husband killed in car crash in northern Indiana

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VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, Mich. - The Wayne County Medical Examiner says a Van Buren Township mother was strangled before being stabbed and her two young sons died from stab wounds to their chest and arms.

Linda Vanderlinden, 34, 7-year-old Julien and 4-year-old Matthew were found dead Thursday in their home on Anna Street. They found the bodies in separate bedrooms.

Their autopsy reports were released Friday.

The mother and her sons were found by Van Buren Township police who had gone to the home to inform the family that Vanderlinden's husband, Michael, had been killed in a car crash in northern Indiana.

Investigators believe an 8 1/2-inch butcher knife found in the kitchen sink was the weapon used in the stabbings.

Police said Michael Vanderlinden is suspected of being responsible for the killing. Police said he and his wife had a history of domestic violence and that he was in the process of moving out of the home. He also had personal issues with depression.

Michigan case connected to deadly Indiana crash

Vanderlinden is also being blamed for the crash that killed him on I-94 in Indiana.

Police near Michigan City say it appears Vanderlinden left a highway rest area going eastbound in the westbound lanes and crashed head-on with another vehicle about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, causing a fire that engulfed both vehicles.

Both Vanderlinden and the other driver, 45-year-old Juan Nelson, of Portage, Ind., were pronouced dead at the scene.

--Juan Nelson

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