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Man charged with killing mother, two kids and setting home on fire

Posted at 11:33 AM, Mar 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-12 18:25:40-04

ALLEGAN, Mich. -- Corey LaValley was charged Thursday with killing a mother and two children in Dorr. 

LaValley, 32, is facing three counts of open murder, one count of second-degree arson and one felony firearms charge.

According to a release from the Allegan County Sheriff's Department, investigators believe LaValley shot and killed the three victims Monday evening and returned Tuesday and burned the residence down.

Family members identify the victims as 10-year-old Corey LaValley Jr. and 13-year-old Emma McComber.  They also identified the mother as Deb Sheppard, who was in her mid-30s.

The fire was reported just after 1 p.m. Tuesday at the mobile home on Briarwood Street in Dorr Township.

Deb Sheppard (left), Corey LaValley Jr. (center), Emma McComber (right)

Deb Sheppard (left), Corey LaValley Jr. (center), Emma McComber (right)

LaValley was the father of one of the children and had been in a relationship with Sheppard. It’s unclear if he was living at the Dorr home at the time of the fire.

He was arrested at a home in Charlotte Tuesday night and was arraigned Thursday afternoon in Allegan County District Court.

William McComber, Emma's father, said he and Sheppard shared custody after divorcing years ago.   He told FOX 17 on Wednesday that his daughter was strong and was never afraid to stand up for what she believed.

“It’s one thing to lose someone in an accident,” he said. “But when I think about it and knowing the fact that my daughter was shot, intentionally… it wasn’t even accidental.”

McComber tells FOX 17 he feared for his daughter’s safety and was worried LaValley would eventually hurt her, her brother, or her mother.

“It hurts, I’m angry,” he said. “Over the years I’ve questioned, did I do enough?”

Repeated attempts to pull Emma from the home were ignored by Child Protective Services, McComber said.

“He’s continued to be violent, from what my daughter would tell me when she’d come here is that his violence would get worse.”

McComber said he felt the system failed him, adding he chose to speak out in an effort to stop it from happening to another child.

“I want people to know this isn’t just guy snaps one day, freaks out, and kills his girlfriend and kids,” he said. “This is years of building up to this, years of warning signs nobody took me seriously about.”

The family set  up GoFundMe accounts here and here to raise money for the funerals and burial of the three victims.