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Suspect, victim identified in Allegan County acid attack

Posted at 11:14 AM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-17 20:35:09-04

GANGES TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- The man who allegedly poured acid on his girlfriend Wednesday has been identified as 53-year-old Gregory Alan Marsman.

Marsman allegedly tackled his girlfriend of 10 years, Sheryl Keech, 54, and poured acid on her face and chest.    He was charged Thursday with torture, home invasion and his third instance of domestic violence in connection with the incident. Charged as a habitual offender, Marsman faces up to life in prison.

"I noticed some recent behavior changes with him," said Keith Nemith, Keech's son. "I didn’t really expect this to happen.”

Nemith told FOX 17 his mother is hospitalized in critical condition with a feeding and breathing tube. He said there was acid in her eyes and is unsure if his mother will see again.  Keech remains unconscious Thursday, but Nemith holds onto a moment of hope and described

“She’s a very strong, resilient person, so she’ll get through it," said Nemith.

"She’s on a breathing tube and a feeding tube, her airways are kind of swelled up, she has acid burns inside her mouth in mouth and her eyes, her neck and her stomach. I’ll be there to help hold her up when she gets down, but she’ll get through it," he said.

Family started this GoFundMe page for Keech.

Nemith walked FOX 17 through Keech's destroyed home, pointing out the patch of missing carpet where Marsman allegedly pinned Keech down dumping muriatic acid-a form of diluted hydrochloric acid-on her face and chest.

Keech's first bought home, which her family said she has such pride for, was left trashed in chaos with trails of abuse: baking soda covering chemical burns, glass shards, even feces, and notes scattered everywhere.

“Things that don’t even make sense; a lot of notes about demons," Nemith and his wife said crumpling notes.

Incoherent ramblings of demons and threats were scribbled onto Keech's refrigerator and throughout the home allegedly from her longtime boyfriend, Marman.

Sheryl Keech (Photo from GoFundMe page)

Sheryl Keech (Photo from GoFundMe page)

Nemith said Marsman "went off the deep end," and would ramble about nonsensical things.

Allegan County Sheriff's Department deputies were called to a home in the 1300 block of 66th Street after the woman ran to a neighbor's house for help after the attack.

Carl Glenn Mears, the neighbor who called 911, told FOX 17 the two had moved into their house across the street a couple years ago. He said he woke to the woman, standing with her dog, banging on his door around 2 a.m. Wednesday.

"She was half crying, so I’m trying to hear what she’s saying. You could see the actual tint of her skin was changing colors, I mean it was nasty.  I wouldn’t want to see it again," he said.

Marsman allegedly made unusual statements to the woman before he fled the scene with a handgun registered in her name.  He was later arrested in Berrien County.

Marsman is charged as a habitual offender and faces up to life in prison.  A judge set his bond at $100,000.   He has a lengthy criminal history the includes domestic violence, arson and resisting/obstructing police.

Meanwhile, Keech's family hold onto a moment of hope, and her son described a moment when she first got to the hospital Wednesday morning: "She was able to squeeze the nurse’s hand when she first got there."

Her family are grateful for any help and pray for a strong recovery.

Stay with FOX 17 for future developments.