Deaths of Calhoun County deputy, wife ruled murder-suicide

Posted at 2:28 PM, Jun 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-06 17:44:57-04

EMMETT TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The Calhoun County Sheriff's Department says the shooting deaths of a deputy and his wife have been ruled a murder-suicide.

Officials say Mark and Hope Elferdink were found dead Sunday morning in the backyard of their home on McAllister Road in Emmett Township.  The couple's 12-year-old son called 911 at 7:51 a.m. after finding them dead, officials said Sunday.

During a press conference Monday, investigators said that Deputy Mark Elferdink shot his wife and then killed himself.

Calhoun County Sheriff Matt Saxton said Deputy Elferdink served with the sheriff's office for 18 years.

"The Sheriff's Office is greatly saddened for the family and will do everything we can to assist after this tragedy," he said. "We are offering employee assistance to any and all of our employees as this is a devastating loss."  He added they are also hurting for the kids left behind.

Saxton said Monday afternoon that the couple was going through a divorce, but still lived in the same home.  He said that Hope had a new "romantic interest" and he has been interviewed and is not a suspect.

A neighbor told FOX 17 they heard gunshots around 1:00 a.m. and thought they heard a woman scream. The couple's two children were home when the shooting happened, along with two of the children’s friends for a sleepover, the neighbor said.

"We did not think anything like this would ever happen," the neighbor told FOX 17. "We assumed maybe it was fireworks and the kids were out there playing around because I heard screaming and then we waited and all the lights went off and I figured hopefully they went to bed.